This past weekend, Blizzard developer Omar Gonzalez was reported to have left the company, joining Dreamhaven. Gonzalez was pivotal in bringing WoW Classic to life, developing the first prototype of Classic.
The news of the departure comes to us by way of Kevin Jordan on Twitch (via WoWHead). Gonzalez has reportedly left Blizzard, joining up with Dreamhaven's Secret Door, one of the two studios under the dev house's umbrella. Jordan himself was a developer on World of Warcraft from 2003 through 2010, focusing on class design according to WoWHead.
Gonzalez leaves Blizzard after 18 years joining Dreamhaven's Secret Door studio. Dreamhaven, in case you missed it, is a new publishing house started by former Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime. Within Dreamhaven are two studios, Moonshot and Secret Door, both aimed at creating games with smaller teams - Secret Door being smaller than even sister studio Mooshot. The studios are full of Blizzard alums, such as Mooshot's leader Dustin Browder being involved in StarCraft II, Heroes of the Storm and more. Secret Door's studio head, Chris Sigaty, also worked at Blizzard durin Morhaime's tenure there, working on SCII.
Gonzalez is credited by current World of Warcraft Game Director Ion Hazzikostas as creating the first prototype of World of Warcraft Classic after effectively locking himself away to work on the build. When he presented what he found, according to Hazzikostas in an interview last year with Russian WoW content creator xDlate, Hazzikostas says that Gonzalez's build showed the team that it was possible to build what we now know as World of Warcraft Classic.