At Blizzard, we craft genre-defining games and legendary worlds for all to share.  Through unparalleled creativity and storytelling, we create immersive universes and iconic characters that are beloved across platforms, borders, backgrounds, and generations - only made possible by building a work environment that nurtures the artistry of game development and unleashes the aspirations of our people.

As the Design Director, Combat AI, you will lead a team responsible for conceptualizing, designing, and implementing innovative artificial intelligence combat systems within our games. You will collaborate closely with cross-functional teams to ensure that AI-driven gameplay features enhance the player experience and contribute to the overall success of our titles. Your expertise in both game design principles and AI technologies will drive the development of immersive gaming experiences.

This role is anticipated to be a hybrid work position, with some work on-site and some work-from-home. The potential home studio for this role is Irvine, CA.


Priorities can often change in a fast-paced environment like ours. Responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:

  • Develop a cohesive vision for AI-driven combat mechanics across multiple projects, aligning with the overarching game design goals and player experience objectives.

  • Lead and mentor a team of AI designers, providing guidance and support to foster their professional growth and enhance their creative potential.

  • Work closely with game designers, programmers, artists, and other partners to integrate AI systems seamlessly into game environments, ensuring they enhance combat dynamics and contribute to overall immersion.

  • Oversee the creation of AI prototypes and iterate on designs based on playtesting feedback and data analytics, refining AI behaviors to achieve optimal balance and challenge.

  • Define the technical architecture for AI combat systems, collaborating with engineering teams to implement scalable and efficient solutions that meet performance requirements across various platforms.

  • Advocate for player-centric AI combat design, ensuring that AI behaviors enhance player engagement, immersion, and satisfaction throughout the gaming experience.

  • Stay abreast of advancements in AI technology and gaming trends, conducting research to find opportunities for innovation and differentiation in AI-driven mechanics.

  • Collaborate with quality assurance teams to identify and address AI-related issues, ensuring high levels of polish, stability, and reliability in the final game product.

  • Document design principles, standard processes, and technical specifications for internal reference, and effectively communicate AI-related concepts and requirements to cross-functional teams.


  • Minimum 12 years experience in AAA game design, five of which in a Lead or Principal capacity focused on AI design and development or equivalent in a combination of education and work experience.

  • Deep understanding of artificial intelligence algorithms, techniques, and methodologies, with practical experience applying them to game development.

  • Experience with AI authoring tools and comfortable writing behavior logic.

  • Familiarity with programming languages commonly used in game development (e.g., C++, C#, Python) and experience working with game engines.

  • Strong leadership and team management skills. Possesses an ability to inspire and empower a diverse team of designers and developers.

  • Excellent communication and collaboration skills, with the ability to convey complex technical concepts to non-technical team members.

  • Passion for gaming and a strong understanding of game design principles, player psychology, and user experience fundamentals.

  • Creative problem-solving abilities and a track record of delivering innovative solutions to complex design challenges.

  • Flexibility and adaptability in a dynamic, fast-paced environment, with a commitment to excellence and continuous improvement.

Your Platform

Best known for iconic video game universes including Warcraft®, Overwatch®, Diablo®, and StarCraft®, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. (, a division of Activision Blizzard, which was acquired by Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment experiences. Blizzard Entertainment has created some of the industry’s most critically acclaimed and genre-defining games over the last 30 years, with a track record that includes multiple Game of the Year awards. Blizzard Entertainment engages tens of millions of players around the world with titles available on PC via®, Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, iOS, and Android.

Our World

At Activision, we strive to create the most iconic brands in gaming and entertainment. We’re driven by our mission to deliver unrivaled gaming experiences for the world to enjoy, together. We are home to some of the most beloved entertainment franchises including Call of Duty®, Crash Bandicoot™, Tony Hawk’s™ Pro Skater™, and Guitar Hero®. As a leading worldwide developer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment and products, our “press start” is simple: delight hundreds of millions of players around the world with innovative, fun, thrilling, and engaging entertainment experiences.

We’re not just looking back at our decades-long legacy; we’re forging ahead to keep advancing gameplay with some of the most popular titles and sophisticated technology in the world. We have bold ambitions to create the most inclusive company as we know our success comes from the passionate, creative, and diverse teams within our organization.

We’re in the business of delivering fun and unforgettable entertainment for our player community to enjoy. And our future opportunities have never been greater — this could be your opportunity to level up.

Ready to Activate Your Future?

The videogame industry and therefore our business is fast-paced and will continue to evolve. As such, the duties and responsibilities of this role may be changed as directed by the Company at any time to promote and support our business and relationships with industry partners.

We love hearing from anyone who is enthusiastic about changing the games industry. Not sure you meet all qualifications? Let us decide! Research shows that women and members of other under-represented groups tend to not apply to jobs when they think they may not meet every qualification, when, in fact, they often do! We are committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment and strongly encourage you to apply.

We are committed to working with and providing reasonable assistance to individuals with physical and mental disabilities. If you are a disabled individual requiring an accommodation to apply for an open position, please email your request to [email protected]. General employment questions cannot be accepted or processed here. Thank you for your interest.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status, among other characteristics.


We provide a suite of benefits that promote physical, emotional and financial well-being for ‘Every World’ - we’ve got our employees covered! Subject to eligibility requirements, the Company offers comprehensive benefits including:

  • Medical, dental, vision, health savings account or health reimbursement account, healthcare spending accounts, dependent care spending accounts, life and AD&D insurance, disability insurance;

  • 401(k) with Company match, tuition reimbursement, charitable donation matching;

  • Paid holidays and vacation, paid sick time, floating holidays, compassion and bereavement leaves, parental leave;

  • Mental health & wellbeing programs, fitness programs, free and discounted games, and a variety of other voluntary benefit programs like supplemental life & disability, legal service, ID protection, rental insurance, and others;

  • If the Company requires that you move geographic locations for the job, then you may also be eligible for relocation assistance.

Eligibility to participate in these benefits may vary for part time and temporary full-time employees and interns with the Company. You can learn more by visiting

In the U.S., the standard base pay range for this role is $134,000.00 - $247,900.00 Annual. These values reflect the expected base pay range of new hires across all U.S. locations. Ultimately, your specific range and offer will be based on several factors, including relevant experience, performance, and work location. Your Talent Professional can share this role’s range details for your local geography during the hiring process. In addition to a competitive base pay, employees in this role may be eligible for incentive compensation. Incentive compensation is not guaranteed.