Mike Morhaime, former CEO and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment, alongside a swath of other video game industry (including Blizzard) veterans announced a new Irvine, California, game company called Dreamhaven and the establishment of two studios: Moonshot and Secret Door.
“I’m excited to team up with such talented people who care deeply about games and their communities,” said Dreamhaven CEO Mike Morhaime in a press release. “I’ve always believed in the power of games to bring people together regardless of backgrounds or boundaries. With Dreamhaven, we look forward to creating and sharing new experiences with players everywhere.”
Moonshot is going to be lead by Jason Chayes, Dustin Browder, and Ben Thompson.
According to Dreamhaven, Chayes was previously an Executive Producer at Blizzard Entertainment where he led the Hearthstone team, a Senior Director at Electronic Arts, and before that, led art teams for the Walt Disney Company’s game division; Browder’s twenty-five year career includes roles as Game Director on StarCraft II, Heroes of the Storm, Command and Conquer, and The Lord of the Rings; and Thompson’s credits include Creative Director on Hearthstone, Art Director for the World of Warcraft trading card game, with additional credits on Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering.
“Dreamhaven has assembled some amazing people, folks who truly share our values, and we’re really excited to begin this next adventure together,” said Jason Chayes, Moonshot studio head. “Though it’s very early days, when we think about Moonshot, we imagine a studio that celebrates curiosity and courage. We aspire to be bold in our approach, and we think the best way to do that is to create a culture centered around trust. That’s at the heart of how we’d like to work together and also how we’d like to connect with players once we’re a bit further down the road.”
Secret Door will be led by Chris Sigaty, Alan Dabiri, and Eric Dodds.
Dreamhaven said Sigaty’s roles have included Executive Producer on Hearthstone, StarCraft II, and Heroes of the Storm, as well as Lead Producer on the original Warcraft III; Dodds was the original Game Director of Hearthstone and veteran game designer on World of Warcraft and StarCraft; and Dabiri has filled both Technical Director and Game Director roles and has worked on Warcraft III, StarCraft II, and Heroes of the Storm.
“The amount of game development and publishing experience at Dreamhaven combined with the camaraderie between our studios is already providing an unparalleled environment for creative collaboration,” said Chris Sigaty, Secret Door studio head. “At Secret Door, we are passionate about bringing players together in positive ways while building a sustainable home for creators. Dreamhaven is providing everything we need to head into uncharted territory. We cannot wait for others to join us on our journey!”
It’s always exciting to see prominent developers move to open their own studios and leaves me curious about what we’ll be learning about Dreamhaven, Moonshot and Secret Door over the next year.
Morhaime notably announced he was leaving Blizzard-Activision in October 2018 and officially stepped down in April 2019. He was replaced by J. Allen Brack, the executive producer on World of Warcraft.
You can learn more about the teams at Dreamhaven, Moonshot and Secret door here.