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Co-Founder Exit Leaves Blizzard’s Future Uncertain

It's getting harder and harder to keep up with the leadership at gaming developer Activision-Blizzard.

Frank Pearce, one of the Blizzard unit's remaining co-founders, announced in a blog post Friday that he is leaving the company. Pearce served as Blizzard's chief development officer, and was with the company for 28 years. Fellow co-founder Michael Morhaime left his role as president of Blizzard last October.

It's been a trying year for the game company. In some respects, it's doing just fine. Its Overwatch League, a global, in-house competitive e-sports league for its game Overwatch, is expanding. A similar league is coming for Call of Duty as well. 

But it also cut 8% of its workforce in February. 

The Blizzard side of Activision-Blizzard appears lost these days.

"Activision is likely to be negatively impacted by lack of major
releases, particularly from the Blizzard division, in 2019," says the latest report from Zacks Equity Research.

The company finds itself relying on titles like the Call of Duty franchise, mobile hit Candy Crush (brought in from the company's King Digital Entertainment acquisition), and its Overwatch League, the report continues.

Analyst projections for Activision-Blizzard aren't completely bleak, but investment interest remains fairly cool for the time being. 

While's Activision-Blizzard's stock hasn't seen a stellar performance over the last few months, it did take another small hit following the news of Pearce's exit.

Pearce did not provide details on where he is headed post-departure, but did leave his blog post on a positive note about the company's future.

"I have been lucky enough to work with J. [Allen Brack, president of Blizzard Entertainment] and Ray [Gresko, Blizzard’s chief development officer] for many years, and now it is their responsibility to define how the adventure continues," Pearce said in the blog post.

"I know that the future of Blizzard will be amazing under their guidance," he continued. "There are many exciting initiatives in the works, and I can’t wait to see the end results."