Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street is Leaving Blizzard

UPDATE (3:47 PM 11/27/13): Ghostcrawler has posted a farewell letter to the WoW community. Check it out on the World of Warcraft forums.

A Blizzard rep told us, “As Greg mentioned in his letter to the WoW community, he’s made the personal decision to leave Blizzard and pursue other opportunities outside of the company. We had a great time working with him and appreciate all his contributions on World of Warcraft, and we wish him all the best.”


If you’re not a World of Warcraft player, the name “Ghostcrawler” won’t mean a lot to you. But to those who are fans of Blizzard’s massive MMO, he’s a lightning rod of both positive and negative feelings. Regardless of how you feel about him, I think that everyone will be shocked to learn that he’s just announced his departure from Blizzard.

In a post on Facebook (seen below), Street says that he decided to leave because he has, “A great opportunity for something new and exciting,” but offers no details on what he may be doing next.

In his years at Blizzard, Street served as the Lead Systems Designer for World of Warcraft. This position put him directly in charge of a team that, in his words, “Handles everything from classes to mechanics to items to trade skills to achievements to UI design, and that includes the game balance.” He also spent a lot of time trying to foster communications between developers and players. He’s extremely active on his Twitter account, and also quite popular, garnering nearly 70,000 followers.

The Blizzcon 2013 Press kit lists Street’s bio thusly:

As the lead systems designer for World of Warcraft®, Greg Street oversees roughly half of the World of Warcraft designers, including the class, item, profession, PvP, and encounter teams. His teams also design the user interface for the game and handle all of the number-crunching and balance fine-tuning that powers the game’s combat and gameplay systems.

Greg blogs about World of Warcraft’s game systems and discusses a variety of gameplay topics on Twitter under the “Ghostcrawler” persona.

Despite being the target for a large amount of ire for class changes, PvP updates, gear adjustments, and the like, Street has continued to serve as that middleman during his time at Blizzard. It will be interesting to see who steps up to fill that void, and how they respond to the inevitable complaints that arise whenever they’re forced to make changes to a game that can affect millions of players.

In the meantime, if you want to have a little bit of Ghostcrawler to keep around forever, the WoW players among you can take their Hunters over to the Abyssal Depths in-game and tame the Ghostcrawler mob. He’s a little spectral crab that wields the Nerfbat. It’s rather apropos.

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1 Comment on Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street is Leaving Blizzard

Naug

On November 28, 2013 at 2:15 am

I first noticed Ghostcrawler in the Wrath of the Lich King beta when he started to, very openly and at great length, discuss the design logic behind the changes they were making to the game. It was a huge change of direction for blizzard since before then the designers were more of an ivory tower entity for the player base, nearly never interacting with them and telling them why they were changing things or what the problems were that they were trying to remedy.

Unlike other’s I don’t believe he was fired. I think he felt that 6 years doing the same thing is enough, time for something new. As I’m sure we all would do in that situation.