Mike Morhaime Co-Founded Blizzard Through a $15,000 Loan From His Grandmother

Blizzard Entertainment is a massive gaming company, folks responsible for some of the most popular online games to date – World of Warcraft, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, and more. Their legacy includes games that defined genres or evolved them, with series like StarCraft, Diablo, and WarCraft. They weren’t always this monolithic corporation, though.

In a reveal via a pre-Blizzcon livestream, Blizzard co-founder, CEO, and president Mike Morhaime revealed that he founded the company with a $15,000 loan from his grandmother.

“Allen [Adham] and I each contributed $10,000,” Morhaime said. “In order to get my $10,000, I borrowed $15,000 from my grandmother. This is the loan. She didn’t charge me any interest, that was very nice of her. Before we had any games, before we had actually done anything you know, this was basically the doors opening and us starting out.”

This information was revealed during a look at Blizzard’s actual real-life Blizzard Vault, an archive of documents and artwork from the company’s history throughout the years. The piece of paper dates back to February 4th, 1991, and was signed by his grandmother – Mildred Miller. His grandmom was so generous she charged no interest and asked for monthly repayments of $100.

“My grandparents were always just very supportive,” Morhaime recollected. “She wasn’t a gamer, she didn’t play our games, but I know she was always so proud of everything that I did.”

When asked what kind of advice he would give his younger self just starting out with a potentially risky investment, Morhaime seemed even more thankful for their success.

“I know that it would have definitely relieved a lot of anxiety if I could see into the future and see what was to come,” he said. “I would probably just say ‘Relax and just focus on the games.'”

So let’s all give thanks to Mildred for helping create one of the greatest developers the industry has ever seen. I’ve spent countless hours across StarCraftDiablo, Diablo 2, Warcraft 1+2+3, World of Warcraft, and even Heroes of the Storm. What Blizzard games are you fond of or currently playing? Sound off in the comments below!

Brandon Orselli

About

Big Papa Overlord at Niche Gamer. Italian. Dad. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. I also write about music, food, & beer. Also an IT guy.

  • Madbrainbox

    Money well spent I guess.

  • ProxyDoug

    This is how people did before Kickstater and Patreon, no running away with the money there.

  • Deatrathias

    Grampstarter

  • Miguel Angel Opazo Arancibia

    TWF grandparents trust you way more than your parents.

    Overwatch is awesome too, go play it.

  • Ace

    Damn.

  • No_Good_Names_Ever

    “no running away with the money there”
    Implying.

  • No_Good_Names_Ever

    Your parents know what they raised.
    I’d rather play TF2 for free.

  • Envy-Noson

    Touching story, but I’m still not going to buy SJWwatch. I might give Wow a try when I have 300 hours of free time on my hands.

  • Madbrainbox

    Legion is fun in small doses.

  • Feniks

    Yep. I have nothing but respect for people putting their own money and reputation on the line.

    Meanwhile Chris Roberts got a golden parachute after Freelancer and I guarantee he won’t go bankrupt when Star Citizen bombs.

  • RHELSAGE

    Huh, they’ve fallen a long way from then. Hell I’m almost old enough to remember when they’re games were actually good and fun to play.