Former Blizzard leaders found new studio Magic Soup Games
by Danny Craig ·
Magic Soup Games
Blizzard Entertainment veterans Jen Oneal, John Donham, and J. Allen Brack have announced that they have founded a new game studio called Magic Soup Games.
- The trio announced yesterday that they had established the fully remote studio developing "massive AAA games with positive themes." The studio is currently small, with five employees referred to as "chefs" in keeping with the ongoing culinary theme. Brack has explained the reasoning behind the studio's name, "Making a game is a lot like making a soup. Both take time, both require a lot of iteration and different ingredients. Both require a lot of tasting and testing, over and over. Each new chef can bring something new—new tasting notes, new spices, and new flavors. Even then, to end up with something truly amazing, well, that takes a bit of magic."
- Between the three founders, there are decades of executive-level experience at Blizzard. Brack had worked at Blizzard for 16 years, during which he was its president for three years before his departure amid the company’s sexual harassment lawsuit. Oneal was present at Activision Blizzard for even longer, at close to 20 years, most notably as the studio head of Vicarious Visions before becoming the short-lived co-head of Blizzard following Brack’s exit. Donham has less of a connection to Blizzard, working as its chief of staff and vice president of special projects for just over a year before leaving to serve as the general manager at Amazon’s Prime Gaming service.
- Oneal will serve as the studio’s chief executive officer (CEO), with Donham overseeing operations and Brack leading development efforts. In regards to the studio’s first title, no information has been given, but Brack has said that it "doesn't fit neatly into any existing genre today," so it appears that it could be something entirely unexpected but still aims to fall under the AAA banner.
Other Activision Blizzard news:
- Activision Blizzard’s former Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), Fernando Machado, has left the company after almost two years to join the food-tech company NotCo. This is the second C-level executive to depart from the company within the last month, with Daniel Alegre announcing his resignation earlier this year and joining blockchain company Yuga Labs as its CEO.
- The publisher has confirmed that full-time remote work for its QA teams is being scrapped, forcing employees to return to physical office spaces or risk losing their jobs. Employees reacted negatively to the move due to rising living costs in the current economy, making it unfeasible for many to return to the inner-city areas where its offices are located.