Stan

Russel Brower Leaves Blizzard

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Senior Audio Director Russel Brower has left Blizzard Entertainment. He explained in a Facebook post that with the success of a "sound-decentralization" initiative, his position was no longer relevant.

Russel Brower was the Director of Audio and Lead Composer at Blizzard Entertainment. He produced music for Warcraft III, World of Warcraft and all its expansions, for example the Burning Crusade opening theme.

He also composed the legendary "Invincible"!

We wish him luck in his future endeavors! Here's the full announcement:

Blizzard LogoRussel Brower (Source)

To anyone familiar with my work at #Blizzard,

It’s with a heavy heart that I post this status update, but as they say, “all good things…”

I’m extremely proud of the amazingly talented team I helped build and the creative output we’ve accomplished together over these past 12 years. As the company has grown, the topography of the Sound team has adjusted accordingly, and the last couple of years have been no exception. With the success of a “sound de-centralization” initiative, my current position of overall Sr. Audio Director/Composer is no longer relevant and is being eliminated.

Today is my last day, though there is an excellent chance I will continue to contribute to Blizzard’s projects as a freelance composer. Obviously, I have a lot to figure out, so I do not have any further information to share as to what I will be doing next….yet. (Except for my solo album— that is well under way; stay tuned!)

I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to EVERYONE reading this: all of our Players, Music Lovers, and the countless new friends I’ve made worldwide, for the incredible and indelible life experiences I have enjoyed while at Blizzard. Especially the Players— each of you have truly enriched our lives by playing our games, meeting us at #BlizzCon and #Nerdtacular, attending our music concerts the world over, enjoying our soundtrack albums and sheet music— the list goes on and on. We have so much to be proud of and I am truly grateful to each of you and to all my Blizzard colleagues for putting up with me over the last 12 years and teaching me so much.

I look forward to staying in touch with ALL of you, be it here on FaceBook, Twitter (handle-change coming up), and at future concerts (actually I have several #VGL shows still to come this year in Europe, China and Brazil.)

WATCH THIS SPACE for news of my solo album, the first track of which I just recorded in June with 51 of the FINEST studio musicians in Los Angeles!!! #AFM #Local47 FTW!

Wishing each of you all my best, with tons of gratitude,

Russell Brower
a.k.a. RB

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You will be missed, Russel. You will be missed

Edit: Can any1 explain what sound de-centralization means?

Edited by Dejo93

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28 minutes ago, Dejo93 said:

You will be missed, Russel. You will be missed

Edit: Can any1 explain what sound de-centralization means?

I think it means they want to hire freelancers (external artists and composers) to do music for them or have different music for every region.

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2 minutes ago, Stan said:

I think it means they want to hire freelancers (external) artists to do music for them.

What? Like Two Steps from hell?

Also, I have a feeling that they're just dumping him cuz he was getting too expensive for them :/

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18 minutes ago, Dejo93 said:

What? Like Two Steps from hell?

Also, I have a feeling that they're just dumping him cuz he was getting too expensive for them :/

If you carefully watch blizzard news you will that more and more of the old employes are leaving.Despite the polite tweets for appearances ( dont forget icy veins works for blizzard) it doesnt take a genious to see that they either get replaced or they see what blizzard has become and abandon ship

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1 hour ago, Stan said:

Today is my last day, though there is an excellent chance I will continue to contribute to Blizzard’s projects as a freelance composer. Obviously, I have a lot to figure out, so I do not have any further information to share as to what I will be doing next….yet. (Except for my solo album— that is well under way; stay tuned!)

While I am sad to see someone as accomplished as Brower leave, this part here should be more than enough to alleviate most people's concerns. I look forward to hearing more of his work, and, of course, the work from other artists and freelance composers in the future. A lot of his work will remain in the game as it is, and I expect that other pieces will be worked with or adapted, such as what happened with Azuna, remixing a Burning Crusade elf theme.  

To me, I think the technology has jumped up with people being able to compose at home, and Blizzard has so many games and franchises, that they probably have people working on various projects cross game universe at the same time. 

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Surely sad to hear, his work has been solid but I wouldn't be worried about him, having worked for Blizzard is the best 'recommendation letter' you can get.

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30 minutes ago, SteveFrost said:

Surely sad to hear, his work has been solid but I wouldn't be worried about him, having worked for Blizzard is the best 'recommendation letter' you can get.

This is my feelings here. If there was bad blood between him and Blizzard he wouldn't be saying that there's an excellent chance he does freelance work for them and with 12 years a Blizzard this is a man who is going to be landing on his feet. 

 

My guess is they are moving to a central team to cover day to day sound needs across multiple games and instead freelancing the big picture once an expansion type stuff. Thing is, if they consolidated teams they may not have had a position available for him and his options were to leave or take a demotion, there is no harm in that it happens sometimes.

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4 hours ago, Kurosu said:

( dont forget icy veins works for blizzard)

I'd better get that down on my resume! I had no idea I work for Blizzard :o

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21 minutes ago, Thorosofbeer said:

This is my feelings here. If there was bad blood between him and Blizzard he wouldn't be saying that there's an excellent chance he does freelance work for them and with 12 years a Blizzard this is a man who is going to be landing on his feet. 

My guess is they are moving to a central team to cover day to day sound needs across multiple games and instead freelancing the big picture once an expansion type stuff. Thing is, if they consolidated teams they may not have had a position available for him and his options were to leave or take a demotion, there is no harm in that it happens sometimes.

Pretty much my view on this, too. With how things are being represented, it doesn't seem like simple niceness. They seem to be genuinely leaving each other on good terms and, hopefully, they'll maintain those and work together again.

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2 hours ago, Blainie said:

I'd better get that down on my resume! I had no idea I work for Blizzard :o

Spare the sarcarm please,the page has guides for all blizzard games exclusively, including all major news about the company.This isnt the first page that blizzard has transformed in their private marketing websites.

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1 hour ago, Kurosu said:

Spare the sarcarm please,the page has guides for all blizzard games exclusively, including all major news about the company.This isnt the first page that blizzard has transformed in their private marketing websites.

You mean like how we cover Starcraft? Except that we don't, since we cover the games that our team here actively play in our free time and only a small portion of us play SC ranked.

Anyway, as Sawz has said, tin foil hats ahoy!

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27 minutes ago, Blainie said:

You mean like how we cover Starcraft? Except that we don't, since we cover the games that our team here actively play in our free time and only a small portion of us play SC ranked.

Anyway, as Sawz has said, tin foil hats ahoy!

You make guides only for blizzard games and post every news about the company,yet you pretend you are not working for them.Its sad to see moderators of  this page being so hypocrite.

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18 minutes ago, Kurosu said:

You make guides only for blizzard games and post every news about the company,yet you pretend you are not working for them.Its sad to see moderators of  this page being so hypocrite.

I understand the confusion. Check this out, it might explain things. http://lmgtfy.com/?q=fansite

Have a great day! :)

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12 hours ago, Kurosu said:

Spare the sarcarm please,the page has guides for all blizzard games exclusively, including all major news about the company.This isnt the first page that blizzard has transformed in their private marketing websites.

Why exactly should this board belong to Blizzard? Is every board that hosts car-enthusiasts related to Daimler or General Motors?

I have written quite a lot of postings concerning Blizzard, how I see the development of Blizzard games in general and what my opinion is on several of them. And these comments were not in favor of Blizzard, on the contrary. In short I find the decay in Blizzard games (especially story-telling, dialogue, atmosphere) horrible.

You will realize that my opinion has never been edited, deleted or something like that.

And I have never seen this page actually promoting sales or something like that. Sure, if there is a sale, new product, whatever it is posted as a news. And that's it. Has KingMe, Blainie or another Mod ever tried to sell you something? I see absolutly no reaseon that leads me to believe that Blizzard secretly owns this page. Why should Blizzard, where would be the benefit for them? Where is the marketing?

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Not sure this is goodbye.  RB will have more control as a sub-contractor.  A legend for sure.  My favorite composition is "Siege of Worlds" as well as Sylvanas etude, "Lament of the Highborne".  All expansion soundtracks seared to the cloud and my hard drives for eternity.  Thank you sir.  Mrrgllrgl!!!

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@KurosuI can see where the confusion comes from. I want to assure you that we do not work for Blizzard.

Covering Blizzard games is a solid business thanks to the connection between games, mainly through cross-game promotions (most notable in Heroes of the Storm). Covering all games with somewhat significant cross-promotions provides us with increased user retention.

So, why do we not cover more games, alongside Blizzard games? Honestly - it's too much work if we want to keep our quality standard. Should a good opportunity arise, we will cover a non-Blizzard game, even a game that fights against Blizzard games for playerbase, such as DotA or LoL.

As WedgeAntilles noted, you can complain about Blizzard, its games, employees or whatever you want, as long as it is within the bounds of our rules. Even moderators (myself included) and guide authors complain about decisions made by Blizzard.

If you have any questions, I will gladly answer them!

 

@BlainieHow does Reputation Farmer sound on a CV?

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3 hours ago, positiv2 said:

If you have any questions, I will gladly answer them!

Ooh ooh! Me!

 

Why did the supercomputer, Deep Thought, make an error in calculation when concluding that the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything - which turned out to be the number 42 - and not the correct answer - Russel Brower - when it was supposed to be able to solve simple questions like that?

 

Alright now for a serious question on the subject while we are at it. Has the IV staff considered making an exception to:

3 hours ago, positiv2 said:

So, why do we not cover more games, alongside Blizzard games?

For Destiny 2, as it will be the first game ever to be published on Battle.Net that is not a Blizzard game?

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4 hours ago, Yridaa said:

Ooh ooh! Me!

 

Why did the supercomputer, Deep Thought, make an error in calculation when concluding that the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything - which turned out to be the number 42 - and not the correct answer - Russel Brower - when it was supposed to be able to solve simple questions like that?

 

Alright now for a serious question on the subject while we are at it. Has the IV staff considered making an exception to:

For Destiny 2, as it will be the first game ever to be published on Battle.Net that is not a Blizzard game?

The answer to the former question is because it ran on Windows Vista.

As for the latter, it is still being considered, but the answer for now is "probably not" because of lack of successful guide sites for the original Destiny. Should the game generate enough interest in guides, it will be most likely covered. 

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On 7/22/2017 at 1:05 AM, Kurosu said:

You make guides only for blizzard games and post every news about the company,yet you pretend you are not working for them.Its sad to see moderators of  this page being so hypocrite.

I'm one of the two owners of the site. We're completely independent and are not related to Blizzard entertainment in any way. It's like saying that a Pokémon fan site works for Nintendo. 

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On 7/23/2017 at 9:36 AM, Damien said:

I'm one of the two owners of the site. We're completely independent and are not related to Blizzard entertainment in any way. It's like saying that a Pokémon fan site works for Nintendo. 

 

The crazy kids who think there's some giant Blizzard imperialist conspiracy to ruin the video game industry won't listen to reason. Don't waste too much time on them. 

 

 



 

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      My question for you today is, what is your advice to someone trying to start his career of game design at Blizzard? I love Blizz and would love to put my talents to work there but with how competitive it is, I'm not sure how to stand out. I'd appreciate any advice .^
      First, have you applied? That would be the first thing to do to get noticed. : )
      Second, I am not a game designer so I’m not exactly sure how you would stand out as a game designer. If you were an artist, I would suggest posting Blizzard fan artwork on our community pages. Get people talking about your art. I have hired multiple artists to my team, and it all started from seeing their fan artwork online. Another way is to try to contact some of the artists or other devs and ask them for feedback on your stuff. Blizzard also has many positions open at a multitude of skill levels, from associate level to senior and director level. You should even consider applying to non-design related jobs at Blizzard. Most of the art and design producers I work with daily came from inside Blizzard, from our Billing, Customer Service, QA, and GM departments. Blizzard is really good about hiring people from within Blizzard. Now, if you can’t get into Blizzard right now, whether it is lack of experience or whatever reason, try some other companies in or around your area, even a startup. Once you get a job with a game company, you can learn the tools, learn the process of game development, and grow your talents and development experience. In a year or two, apply again. Or, you may love where you are and decide to stay and grow with the company. Good luck! I wish thee much fortune on your quest. See you soon!
    • By Zadina

      The Overwatch Contender Playoffs and the HCT Summer Championship finals will be hosted there.
      Blizzard will get its very own esports arena in Burbank Studios, Los Angeles. Blizzard Arena is set to officially open on October 7, 2017.
      Τhe opening of Blizzard Arena will kick off with the Overwatch Contender Season One Playoffs on October 7-8. A week after that, the Hearthstone Summer Championship finals will also be held there. This came as a bit of a surprise to the community, since they were waiting for a European venue for the last Championship before Blizzcon (the previous venues were the Bahamas and Shanghai).
      Here's the official announcement from the Blizzard Press Center:
      Blizzard Entertainment
      World-class esports have a new home in the entertainment capital of the world. Blizzard Entertainment today unveiled Blizzard Arena Los Angeles, a cutting-edge live-event destination for pro players, esports fans, and everyone else who loves premier competition. Situated in the legendary Burbank Studios, once home to groundbreaking television shows, the studio at Blizzard Arena Los Angeles has been custom-tailored to support an exciting live-event experience for local attendees and broadcast audiences around the world. When the Arena opens for business on October 7, top competitors from across Blizzard esports will be the newest stars to shine on one of the most celebrated stages in television history.
      “We’re at a tipping point for esports and we look forward to helping usher in a new era of competition-based entertainment,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “As we open the doors of Blizzard Arena Los Angeles and welcome fans from around the world, we’re honored to bring the best in Blizzard esports to the same stage that some of the biggest names in entertainment have called home.”
      With multiple sound stages, control rooms, and practice facilities, Blizzard Arena Los Angeles was built to support a full slate of competitive events year-round. In addition, the Burbank, California arena will house a Blizzard retail store that rotates stock for event attendees based on the competitions taking place at the time.
      Blizzard Arena Los Angeles will open its doors to the public for the first time on the weekend of October 7–8 with the Overwatch Contenders Season One Playoffs taking center stage. The culmination of a summer of formidable European and North American competition, the Overwatch Contenders Playoffs will crown the top Contenders teams in each region.
      Beginning October 13, the Hearthstone® Championship Tour’s Summer Championship will bring top-notch Hearthstone pros to the Arena for a full weekend of competition, with $250,000 on the line. The global tournament will conclude the third act of the HCT and set the table for the Hearthstone World Championship, taking place in early 2018.
      The early battles of both the Heroes of the Storm® Global Championship (HGC) Finals and World of Warcraft® Arena Championship will be held at Blizzard Arena Los Angeles in late October, with top Heroes of the Storm and WoW® Arena players looking to fight their way onto the championship stages at BlizzCon®, Blizzard’s annual community celebration in Anaheim, California, taking place November 3–4.
      Then, later this year, some of the top Overwatch® players in the world will take their first steps toward stardom at the Arena when the Overwatch League opens a new era in professional esports. With the players leading the way, the city-based franchises of the Overwatch League have their sights set on establishing a new standard for esports excellence.
      Tickets are available now for the Overwatch Contenders Playoffs and the HCT Summer Championship. (source)
    • By Starym

       
      Blackheart's Tavern have scored a massive interview with Blizzard Senior Art Director Samwise Didier, the man responsible for the "Blizzard look". From defining the art style of the Warcraft universe to, more recently, Heroes of the Storm and basically everything else in between, he's one of the most veteran people at Blizzard today and has quite a few stories to tell, stories that Blackheart's Tavern were nice enough to share with the rest of us!