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↓ 06. Mike Morhaime, CEO of Blizzard

Illustration for article titled ↓ 06. Mike Morhaime, CEO of Blizzard

July 3, 2012 Update: Maybe Diablo III sold well, but it's rocky launch, buggy patches and continued antagonism of some fans with its online requirements makes Morhaime's previously can't miss studio seem a little less wonderful a role model for other development houses to follow. He drops a few spots.


May 30, 2012 Update: Even with the controversy over a shaky launch, Blizzard saw a great success in the long-awaited release of Diablo III, even if they don't know exactly how much of a success it is.


Why He's Powerful

When Blizzard Entertainment merged with mega-publisher Activision in 2008, some worried that the company would be fully subsumed, losing the spark that made Blizzard's pathologically polished games—World of Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo—so addictive. No worries so far—Blizzard co-founder Mike Morhaime appears to have kept the reins firmly in his mailed gauntlet.

While the rushing torrent of subscription money that is World of Warcraft is slowing down ever so slightly, the upcoming release of Diablo III will almost certainly be a massive hit. And there's a massively multiplayer follow up to World of Warcraft code-named "Titan" waiting in the wings. Unless unseen creative calamity strikes the company, the brands under Morhaime's control are set to continue making billions of dollars in revenue for years to come.

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Space Dude

"continued antagonism of some fans

Kinja joke is imminent.