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Author: Kazim Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 35938  
Subject: I've got some news to share... Date: 6/23/2014 4:45 PM
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Hey TMF C&VG gang,

So I haven't been super active on this board for a number of years, but when I have dropped in from time to time, as often as not it has been to talk about games from Blizzard Entertainment. Those of you who have been around a while probably know I'm a huge fanboy.

When I was an undergraduate in 1996, I was tutoring a teenager in C++, and one day I came over and he was playing Warcraft 2 with his friend. I took one look at the colorful little ogres running around saying things in their dumb voices, and I said "What is that? I want it." He gave me a copy of the demo CD that he had burned, and I was hooked for life. It took me a while to warm up to the first Diablo game, but other than that I have never missed a release date on any Blizzard product. Every Warcraft, every Starcraft, every Diablo from 2 onward, and all the official expansion packs. Midnight sales, I was there. Online pre-orders, I had them.

In all my years at The Motley Fool I've usually been among the first to post impressions about the latest Blizzard beta, reviews that were pretty in-depth if I say so myself. I think it was David G who used to joke that Blizzard ought to be paying me kickbacks, because I'm personally responsible for a lot of sales from this very board. When my wife and I were in a long distance relationship, I introduced her to World of Warcraft, and we used to "date" by bringing our characters to Stormwind City while we talked on the phone. It's geeky and stupid I know, but those are the kind of memories I have wrapped up in these games. A few years ago I befriended a guy working at Blizzard Europe, and since then I've been able to get in a lot of alphas and betas.

Anyway, on Friday I accepted a job offer from Blizzard Entertainment.

Back in my undergraduate days, taking computer science classes, I used to want to be a game developer. I never broke into the industry though. I couldn't get a starting position with a decent salary, and it turned out my calling was data-heavy web development, which is what I focused on in grad school. Maybe I did get a bit of a "sour grapes" attitude toward the game industry, justifying my career choices by saying that the game industry treats their employees badly anyway, or whatever, but I did still wish I could have gone into that field.

As it turns out, Blizzard's Battle.Net team is now based out of Austin, where I live. A month ago I got my first email from a Blizzard recruiter, who opened his message with "Hi Russell, Lok'tar! (Orcish for Hello)." I had to strongly resist the urge to tell him (petulant nerd voice) "Uh, actually? Lok'tar means Victory. Hello is Mok'ra, or sometimes Throm-ka." But what I did do was share some of the reviews that I had written here on this board, then talked up my background as an experienced web programmer of 17 years with an MS in Software Engineering from the University of Texas. Then I went on to pass the initial phone screen, and I spent an entire day doing tests and interviews a week and a half ago.

So, long story short, I start working with their web development team on July 7, two weeks from today. I am, to put it mildly, ecstatic, and also it doesn't hurt that the position comes with a fairly hefty income boost over the job I am leaving.

Regrettably, this probably means that I can never say very much about Blizzard games on this board again, at least as long as I'm working there, which I hope will be a long time. The forms I signed make it pretty clear that Blizzard doesn't want employees becoming accidental spokespeople for the company, which is totally understandable. I'm not even sure if I'll update my Facebook and LinkedIn status to share this information. But I feel like this board is deep in my roots as a gamer, so I wanted to let you all know.
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