He will be the company’s executive vice president and general manager. He starts at the Irvine, California-based company on November 14, which is after BlizzCon (though he will attend the show). “We will work with all our energy to serve gamers with incredible content and experiences,” Ybarra said of his new role. “I can’t wait to be part of this team.”
I’m very happy to announce I’m joining @Blizzard_Ent as Exec. Vice President and GM starting 11/4 (will be at #blizzcon!). We will work with all our energy to serve gamers with incredible content and experiences. I can’t wait to be part of this team. #lucky #humble #gamers #serve pic.twitter.com/kZ8dRuF3pe
— Mike Ybarra (@Qwik) October 24, 2019
Ybarra formerly worked on Microsoft for nearly 20 years. He most recently served as a vice president at Microsoft, a position he held from January 2017 until he left earlier in October.
Ybarra joins Blizzard at a tumultuous time for the company. Blizzard recently came under fire for the actions it took against a professional Hearthstone player who expressed support for the ongoing protests in Hong Kong. Although Blizzard reinstated the player’s prize money and reduced his ban, that hasn’t ended the controversy. A group of lawmakers, both Democrats and Republicans, wrote a letter to Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick to express their concern about Activision pursuing financial interests ahead of freedom of speech.
Many are calling for Blizzard to address the ongoing controversy at BlizzCon next month, though it remains to be seen if the company will. The company is also expected to announce Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4. Keep checking back with GameSpot for the latest.