Blizzard Hires Casual Games Guru From PopCap

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The former general manager of Xbox Live Arcade and v.p. at Peggle studio PopCap is going to Blizzard. Let the development speculation begin.


Kotaku has learned that Greg Canessa, the man who ran Xbox Live Arcade at the Xbox 360's launch for Microsoft and has since served as vice president of game platforms at PopCap is joining the team at World of Warcraft and Diablo studio Blizzard.

Blizzard has shown an interest in casual gaming recently, weaving PopCap's popular Peggle game into WoW earlier this year and Bejeweled before it.

Peggle, like PopCap's other popular games, was primarily played as a downloadable PC title, lumping it into the casual gaming category with the company's other hits Zuma and Bejeweled.

But in an interview with me earlier this year, Canessa said that Peggle proved its hit potential with a more hardcore crowd and that PopCap seized upon its success with the Half-Life-oriented version of Peggle offered on Steam. (It was also on Canessa's watch overseeing XBLA that the Geometry Wars became a hit also with hardcore gamers).

What Canessa seemed proud of in that context was merging casual game design with hardcore appetites.

And now WoW's got Peggle. And Blizzard now has Canessa.

Blizzard did not respond immediately to a request for comment.



The world and what's left of its productivity is effed.