On April 2, 2014 a select group of students taking the Video Game Law course at Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law visited Blizzard Entertainment’s headquarters in Irvine, California. It is uncommon for civilians to gain access to Blizzard Entertainment, creator of the popular World of Warcraft video game series.
During their tour, they met with the CEO, representatives of technical and development groups, learned more about the company history and toured the museum. They also had the opportunity to have a photo taken with the man who dreams up most of the stories Blizzard tells in its games, video game designer Chris Metzen. The event concluded with a detailed presentation by Blizzard’s Cinematics Team, which produces all of the movies associated with Blizzard’s games. “The employees are committed; everyone we met had been there for a minimum of 10 years. Everybody loved their job and wanted to be there,” said Rizwan Sheikh
This year was the first time the Video Game Law course has been offered at Fowler School of Law, a course taught by Adjunct Professor Eric V. Roeder, the General Counsel of Blizzard Entertainment. Professor Roeder and Professor Kathy Heller organized this coveted tour of Blizzard. “It’s encouraging to see a company that accepts their in-house counsel as a part of the team. It really would be a dream job for any lawyer,” said Neil Kuczynski
. The entire group was extremely appreciative of both Professor Roeder and the staff at Blizzard for taking the time to share with them. “It was an unforgettable experience whether or not you were a gamer,” said Jack Anderson
Fowler Law students discuss highlights from the Blizzard tour:
“Personally, my favorite part of the tour involved seeing the video and audio post-production work. Before law school, I worked as a video and sound editor, and it was great to be back in that environment.” – Neil Kuczynski (JD ’14)
“The best part was, the CEO and his 2 friends, didn’t have any money after college. Michael (CEO) had borrowed money from his grandmother and signed a promissory note to pay her back. He seems to keep himself grounded. I asked him ‘before you were 24, you had a dream to create a company – have you reached that goal?’ he said he surpassed the goal long ago.” – Rizwan Sheikh (LL.M. ’14)
“The highlight was being able to meet and interact with the people behind the games. It was very special to have a conversation with the creative minds responsible for turning a loan of a few thousand dollars from their CEO’s grandmother into an industry leading entertainment company that generates two billion dollars per year in revenue.” – Jack Anderson (JD ’15)
“The highlight of my day was the cinematics presentation where they showed us the process by which they create cinematics and graphics. So cool!” – Alexandra Halfman (JD ’14)
“The highlight was seeing the area of Blizzard dedicated specifically to World of Warcraft. There were decorations everywhere and the office space was so cool. I don’t play video games at all, but I thought it looked like an amazing place to work.” – Kaelee Edwards (JD ’14)
The Video Gaming Law course provides students with the opportunity to gain a deep understanding of the business and legal issues related to video game development, publishing and distribution. This course is an approved elective for the
Entertainment Law Certificate at Fowler School of Law
is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software. They are one of the most popular and well-respected makers of computer games. Headquartered in Irvine, California, Blizzard Entertainment was founded in 1991 under the name Silicon & Synapse by President and CEO Michael Morhaime, Chief Development Officer Frank Pearce and Allen Adham.