In a post on the Heroes of the Storm forum, Alan Dabiri has announced that he will be stepping down as the Game Director, effective immediately. The announcement came out of nowhere, similar to when Mike Morhaime shocked the video game community when he announced that he would be stepping down as President and CEO of Blizzard Entertainment. Dabiri states in his post that he is not departing Blizzard Entertainment. Instead, he will be taking on another position to “begin a new adventure elsewhere within the company.”
— HeroesHearth (@HeroesHearth_gg) October 13, 2018
Apparently, Dabiri accepted a new position a few months ago while he was still the Games Director. In the post, Dabiri also thanked all of the developers for their hard work, particularly Production Director Kaéo Milker, who, as far as we can tell, has been holding the reigns of the game since Dabiri took on the new position.
It’s in this spirit of trying new things that I want to let everyone know that a few months ago, I accepted an opportunity to transition off my role as Heroes’ game director to heed Blizzard’s call and begin a new adventure elsewhere within the company. The game director has always been one part of the overall leadership team that drives Heroes forward and it’s been a privilege to work among some of the best game developers at every level on the team all the way up to our production director, Kaéo Milker.
While Dabiri didn’t state that Milker will be the new Game Director, it’s more than likely that Blizzard will make a formal announcement in regards to that at a later time. Under Dabiri’s watchful eye, Heroes of the Storm has grown into one of the most popular Multiplayer Online Battle Arena games (MOBA) on the market. Ironically, the game began its life as a StarCraft II mod for the online multiplayer arcade portion of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. After realizing the potential in the faster more streamlined gameplay of the mod, Blizzard rebranded it as a standalone demo titled, Blizzard DOTA, which would later be changed to Blizzard All-Stars.
Eventually, Blizzard decided to release their own MOBA in direct competition to long time stalwarts, League of Legends, and Dota 2, with one final name change, Heroes of the Storm. The game was officially released on June 2, 2015, and while it didn’t have immediate success, Dabiri and the development team kept working at it, and over the past three and a half years, has transformed the game into a must play for Blizzard fans all around the world. It also spawned its own esport competition, Heroes Global Championship (HGC), with teams playing in several tournaments year round, including the HGC Western Clash which we covered.
Needless to say, whoever takes over the Game Director role will have some enormous shoes to fill. Dabiri, who began his Blizzard journey 23 years ago in 1995, has also worked on Warcraft III and StarCraft II, so whatever his new role consists of, he will be more than prepared take on this new challenge. Lastly, Dabiri thanked all of the players and fans in his post:
I just want to sign off by saying thank you to all of you. I’ve had an incredible time working on this game and seeing you bring the battlegrounds to life every day. I’m so grateful for the enthusiasm you’ve brought to Heroes and all the changes you’ve encouraged us to make. I know the team deeply appreciates the feedback you share, so please keep it coming—and as always, I’ll see you in the Nexus!
No Dabiri, thank you for creating one of the most fun and addictive multiplayer games that the world has ever seen.