David Brevik, the creator of Diabloand the upcoming indie title It Lurks Below, recently went on a bit of a rant regarding the state of Blizzard in which he accused the company of prioritizing profits over its employees.
“The people above Blizzard, who are profit happy, [are saying] ‘Oh my God, Fortnite is making a fucking shit ton,'” Brevik said on a stream that featured Twitch streamer thejunglequeen playing the Diablo-like Path of Exile. “‘Overwatch isn’t Fortnite…Why have you wronged us?…We’re going to get rid of the profit sharing program. We don’t like this. We don’t like the fact that low-level employees make decent money at Blizzard. We’re going to get rid of this program because we need more profits to increase our stock price and improve our shareholders and the elite 1% of the company.'”
Brevik continued to bash Blizzard by suggesting that some of the recent corporate decisions made by the company (or for the company) may have been responsible for Blizzard co-founder Michael Morhaime shockingly leaving the company in October.
“‘You don’t like this very much, Mike Morhaime? Well too fucking bad, you’re gone,'” Brevik said regarding Morhaime’s departure. “‘Now we pass it and we get more profits…more money in my pocket, motherfucker, for your work that you’re doing.'”
Remarkably, Brevik doesn’t stop there. He also talks about how he knows about “some of the things [Blizzard] has planned” and wonders whether “Blizzard even be close to the same” if these projects don’t go well. He also laments how many people have left the company and seems to question whether or not Blizzard is really even Blizzard anymore. You can watch the stream in full in the video below (skip to about 3:38:10 for the aforementioned comments):
Let’s get a few things out of the way before we dive into this a bit. First off, Brevik admitted that he was inebriated during this stream. Second, he states that he is speculating a bit regarding the specifics of Morhaime’s departure as well as some of the other things he mentioned. Specifically, he said that he “has no inside information” and that this is just a “hypothetical scenario.”
However, it’s 100-percent true that Blizzard has altered its employee bonus program (which the company has said it’s compensated for by altering employee salaries). Brevik also claims that Blizzard has ditched its profit sharing program. It’s unclear at this time if this is, in fact, the case. It’s also true that Morhaime’s departure from the company was abrupt and came around the same time that Blizzard allegedly cut the employee profit share program and changed the employee bonus program.
In case you’re out of the loop, this discussion regarding the state of Blizzard is rather timely as Blizzard recently revealed a very controversial mobile adaptation of Diablo and also announced that it plans on making mobile versions of more of its games. These moves have thrust some of the other controversial business decisions that Blizzard has recently made into a far larger spotlight.
We’re reaching out to Blizzard for comment and will keep you updated as we learn more.
Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014.