The mystery has been solved. According to Holly Longdale’s LinkedIn page, she’s landed a principal game producer gig at Blizzard Entertainment. What is really interesting is that the former EverQuest executive producer will be working on World of Warcraft: Classic.
Here’s the quote from her LinkedIn page that confirms this:
• Recently joined Blizzard to focus on World of Warcraft Classic!
No longer will Holly be a big fish in a small Daybreak pond; she will be a small fish in a big Blizzard pond.
Blizzard is the highly sought after brass ring of employers that many MMO devs strive for. The Irvine based Blizzard has hired a few ex-SOE/Daybreak games staff over the years such as J. Allen Brack and Steve “Moorgard” Danuser just to name a few.
The Blizzard of today is unrecognizable compared to its 2004 incarnation when vanilla WoW was released. With many veteran devs leaving Blizzard, it’s only natural that they are replenishing their stable.
Holly will be at home with woke Blizzard 2.0. as she’s done a lot of strategic virtue signaling about LGBTQ issues at Daybreak in 2019. Clearly, she was padding her resume to appeal to the new diversity/inclusion/representation regime over at Blizzard. Well played Holly!
Holly will be a valuable asset to Blizzard as she has extensive experience in the MMO industry and as a woman checks off the diversity box. However, I have to wonder what she brings to the table from a creative standpoint as WoW Classic’s script is already written as it’s essentially a regurgitation of vanilla WoW and possibly more expansions tacked on such as The Burning Crusade and The Wrath of the Lich King.
It will be interesting to see how she adapts to the fast-paced, cutthroat Blizzard environment compared to the sleepy retirement home milieu of low expectations and mediocrity at Daybreak Games.
As Holly becomes lost in the massive Blizzard corporate machine, it’s doubtful that we’ll ever hear from her again unless they bring her out on the stage for identity politics reasons at a future BlizzCon.
I’m sure Holly feels bittersweet about leaving Daybreak. During Holly’s tenure, the EverQuest franchise never realized its full potential despite the fact she was involved in preparing a new version of EverQuest.
In 2019, Holly promised that “there is a future for EverQuest” but seemingly she will not be a part of that future now that she is part of Blizzard Entertainment family. Despite my disagreements with some of her decisions, I wish her all the best.