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Blizzard chief explains how he raised money to start the company

To raise the $10,000 he was expected to put in, Blizzard cofounder Mike Morhaime says he got a $15,000 loan -- from his grandmother.

Alex Wawro, Contributor

September 14, 2017

2 Min Read

"When we first started the company, Allen and I each contributed $10,000. In order to get my $10,000, I borrowed $15,000 from my grandmother."

- Blizzard CEO and cofounder Mike Morhaime.

Most game makers know Blizzard, the long-standing game company founded in 1991 as Silicon & Synapse.

What you might not know (and find reassuring, if you're thinking about starting your own venture) is that to contribute his share to the fledgling company, Blizzard cofounder Mike Morhaime actually had to take out a loan -- from his grandmother.

As PCGamer aptly noticed, a recent "Inside the Blizzard Vault" video published to the company's website includes Morhaime telling tales about a few of the items on display inside the company's offices.

One of those items appears to be a framed, hand-written promissory note from Morhaime's grandmother for a $15,000 loan with very friendly terms.

"She didn't charge me any interest; that was very nice of her," said Morhaime, with a smile. "Before we had any games, before we had actually done anything, this was basically....the doors opening."

Blizzard showed a clip of the clip on a recent pre-Blizzcon livestream, and during a brief appearance Morhaime reflected on how the company has changed in the 26 years since he borrowed money to get it started.

"I know that it would have definitely relieved a lot of anxiety if I could have seen into the future," he said, ruminating on what to say to his past self. "I would probably say just, relax and focus on the games. Do as good a job as you can."

If you're interested in hearing more from Morhaime about the ins and outs of running a game business, consider looking back at this classic talk he gave at GDC Austin in 2007 about how Blizzard changed (or didn't) following the debut of World of Warcraft.

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