Blizzard is one the world’s biggest gaming companies, with titles such as World of Warcraft and Diablo titans in the games industry. What you may not know, however is the company never would have existed without a loan from a doting grandmother.
During a recent pre-Blizzcon livestream, Blizzard CEO and president Mike Morhaime revealed the company was founded with a loan from his nanny.
Initially reported by PC Gamer, the story was shared by Morhaime after he was about a frame containing two scraps of paper and a card during a tour of the Blizzard Vault – a library of artefacts marking the company’s history.
“When we first started the company, Allen [Adham] and I each contributed $10,000,” Morhaime explained. “In order to get my $10,000, I borrowed $15,000 from my grandmother.
“She didn’t charge me any interest, that was very nice of her. Before we had any games, before we had actually done anything, this was basically the doors opening and us starting out.”
The terms of the loan were laid out on a scrap of paper which stated the sum would be paid back in $100 monthly instalments, without interest. It was agreed on 4th February 1991 and signed by Morhaime’s grandmother Mildred Miller. Blizzard, or Silicon and Synapse as it was then called, was founded four days later.
Reflecting on how far Blizzard has come in 26 years, Morhaime said it would have “relieved a lot of anxiety” if he knew how massive the company would become.
So here’s to Morhaime’s gran, without whom we might not have had Overwatch porn, that South Park episode about World of Warcraft and of course, Morhaime himself.