Michael Morhaime Biography - Top 25 Interesting Facts

Michael Morhaime Biography
WOW! He's a treasure trove

Co founder and former president of Blizzard - game company behind World of Warcraft, Overwatch and Diablo -  Michael Morhaime is a giant in the world of video games. Below are the 25 most interesting facts about the man himself.


25) Shared Birthday

Morhaime shares a birthday (November 3) with none other than Gabe Newell. If Morhaime ever makes it over to New Zealand, a shared birthday party is surely on the cards. 


24) Bass Head 

Alongside his work with Blizzard and Dreamhaven, Morhaime also plays bass in ETC, a metal band made up of Blizzard employees. They also appear virtually in World of Warcraft, under the pseudonym The Tauren Chieftains.


23) Early Start 

Precocious as ever, Morhaime learnt programming from a Bally Professional Arcade machine back in 1978, when he was just 11 years of age. He noticed he could program on the console itself, and taught himself how to with the aid of an example programming code from an old gaming newsletter. What’s your excuse?


22) Poker Star  

Morhaime is something of a jack of all trades: when he isn’t playing bass or working in gaming, he can be found behind the poker table. He’s none too shabby either; In 2006, he finished second place in the DICE Celebrity Poker tournament. 


21) Cameo in The Guild 

In a 2012 episode of the hit web series The Guild - a show about gamers’ experience with an MMORPG similar to WOW - Morhaime himself shows up. He is a real good sport and likes to give back to the community. 


20) Jewish 

Morhaime is of Jewish ancestry. 


19) UCLA Alumni 

Morhaime graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, back in 1990. This puts him on an alumni list with such names as Jack Black, Fracis Ford Coppola and Jim Morrison. Not bad guests for a dinner party.


18) South Park Cameo 

He shows up just about everywhere, doesn’t he? Morhaime is featured in an episode of South Park dedicated to the gang’s addiction to a World of Warcraft style game. Although the creators weren’t initially a fan of the episode, it is now recognised as one of the greatest in the show’s history.


17) A Helping Hand 

Morhaime did more than just lend his voice to the aforementioned episode. Him and the rest of the Blizzard team also helped out with the animation too. 


16) Net Worth 

He has a staggering net worth of $500 million. That’s enough to grab you 7 of Van Gogh’s most expensive paintings, plus change!


15) Entrepreneur of the Year 

Morhaime is credited as an entrepreneur, as well as a businessman and co-founder of Blizzard. In 2012, he won The Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. 


14) New Project 

After officially leaving Blizzard in 2019, Morhaime went on to found DreamHaven the following year. Since then, DreamHaven have established two studios: Moonshot Games and Secret Door


13) Mansion Residence 

In 2017, Morhaime bought a mansion in California for $2.25 million. There are worse places to live...


12) Original Name of Blizzard 

Back in his UCLA days, Morhaime co-founded Blizzard with Allen Adham and Frank Pearce. Initially though, they settled on Silicon and Synapse as the name for the game company. How different things might’ve been...


11) Origins of the Original Name 

Morhaime has said that he used to procrastinate a lot prior to his internship at a San Jose microchip company. It was his time in Silicon Valley that really sparked an ambition in him. So, the original name was an homage to the origins of Morhaime’s real passion.


10) Humankind Prevails 

Although World of Warcraft allows players to explore a totally boundless fantasy world, the most played race in the game remains human. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.


9) Celebrity Endorsement 

Back in 2007, the World of Warcraft ad campaign blew up, with special cameos from the likes of William Shatner and Verne Troyer. In the ads, they talked through a range of character classes available in game.


8) Family Man 

When he stepped down from Blizzard in 2019, Morhaime did so to spend more time with his wife and 4 year old daughter. Family comes first for Michael.


7) Low Ship Rate

Unfortunately, while at Blizzard, Morhaime has stated that as little as 50% of the projects worked on ever ended up as finished projects.  Best not to think about all the wasted projects, it will only make you sad.


6) How Much Code it Took to Make World of Warcraft 

Unbelievably, World of Warcraft was initially composed of over 5.5 million lines of code. That equates to somewhere in the region of 99,000 pages. That is about 362 full length novels.


5) He sees China as the Future 

Morhaime is on record as saying that China is soon going to be the ultimate force in gaming. Recently, it took the United States’ place as the biggest gaming market in the world. It won’t be long before China starts exporting games to the USA, rather than vice versa. Or so Morhaime believes.


4) Initial Pessimism About World of Warcraft 

Although WoW has gone on to become one of the most popular games of all time, Morhaime was not initially certain of its success. The monthly subscription fee, in his eyes, was a turn off. To his surprise, WoW sold incredibly quickly. To some extent, we can look at WoW as a catalyst for the kind of subscription based gaming that seems to be everywhere these days. In some ways, we’ve gone too far in the direction he was sceptical of.


3) A Family of Gamers 

Morhaime is married to long term girlfriend Amy Chen, who he knew through Blizzard. She has a cognitive science degree -  with a minor in computer science - from UCLA. The Morhaime’s frequent game conventions together.


2) Triangle Fraternity 

During his years at UCLA, Morhaime was a member of the Triangle Fraternity, a frat exclusively made up of male students majoring in engineering, architecture or science. 


1) 28 Years 

Morhaime stood down as president of Blizzard in 2018, but stayed on for an extra 6 months as a strategic adviser. By the time those 6 months came to a close, Morhaime had been a Blizzard employee for a staggering 28 years. That’s enough time to grow an oak tree in full, with 8 years change. We salute you, Morhaime!


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As a Philosophy graduate and published creative writer, I write about gaming from a fresh and original perspective. I like browsing bookstores and reading when I can get away from Hyrule.
Gamer Since: 2002
Favorite Genre: Sports
Currently Playing: Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Top 3 Favorite Games:Bioshock Infinite, Crysis 2-Maximum Edition, Grand Theft Auto V