Former Blizzard President J. Allen Brack and his successor Jen Oneal (who also no longer works at Blizzard) have founded a new AAA studio called Magic Soup Games.
LOL! That thought immediately popped into our heads as we reviewed last night’s US news. After we reported yesterday about the umpteenth development studio that was founded in recent years by former Blizzard veterans (this time want Jay Wilson and Julian Love are developing a new action role-playing game with their studio Gas Giant Games), there was the next message of this kind last night.
Here the president still cooks himself
The new Game developer Magic Soup Games was not founded by some veterans who at some point worked on Warcraft, Diablo, Stacraft and Co. At the helm are J. Allen Brack and Jen Oneal, two former bosses of the company. Brack assumed the role of President in October 2018, after Mike Morhaime left office. The successor was not well received by all Blizzard fans because Brack wanted WoW Classic at BlizzCon 2013 with the arrogant phrase “You think you do, but you don’t”..
After the sexism scandal it was a first consequence that J. Allen Brack had to vacate his place. There shouldn’t be a new president after that. Instead, Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra were installed as “Co-Leaders of Blizzard” in August 2021. The duo should only work together for a few months. Already in November 2021, Oneal announced her departure from Blizzard . The reason: She felt excluded, discriminated against and sexually harassed in the company.
At Magic Soup Games, Jen Oneal will now assume the role of CEO. J. Allen Brack, on the other hand, is to lead the development area. And founding member number 3, John Donham, will oversee operations. Incidentally, Donham was also at Blizzard from 2019, including as part of the management board. Before that he worked at Sony on brands like EverQuest and Planetside. Most recently, as an Amazon executive, he was responsible for Prime Gaming.
The magic in the soup
Unfortunately, there are no concrete details about Magic Soup Games’ first project yet. The only thing that is clear is that “want to make AAA games with positive themes and work with people who understand and enjoy the craft of making games“. According to J. Allen Brack, the first game should also not fit into any existing genre. Since the team currently consists of only a few employees and is therefore still being set up, we will probably only find out concrete details about the project in a few years. Until that’s where Magic Soup Games ends up on the now lengthy list of studios founded by former Blizzard veterans/executives.