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Brack at it again.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

March 15, 2023

2 Min Read
Graphic for new game developer Magic Soup Games, featuring a smiling bowl of soup.

Jen Oneal, John Donham, and J. Allen Brack, a trio of former Blizzard Entertainment executives, have partnered  to form the fully remote Magic Soup Games

This is the second new studio announcement this week from Blizzard alumni. Just yesterday (March 14), Diablo III director Jay Wilson and Diablo IV combat designer Julian Love announced their new studio, Gas Giant Games.

Oneal is the more recent of the two Blizzard exits, having departed in late 2021. She became co-lead of the company with Mike Ybarra as Activision Blizzard was in the midst of a lawsuit alleging the World of Warcraft developer had a "toxic frat house" culture. 

Brack, previously the president of Blizzard, left months before Oneal after a 15-year tenure at the developer. His name was mentioned in that aforementioned lawsuit, and was reportedly responsible for allowing harassment and sexism to persist at the company. 

As for Donham, he worked for a year as Blizzard's staff chief and vice president of special projects. His other credentials include the VP of product development at Sony Online Entertainment and Prime Gaming's general manager. 

At Magic Soup, Oneal will operate as its CEO. The press release notes that Donham will handle studio operations, and Brack said he'll "focus on game development with the team. The three of us look forward to the kinds of games and teams we'll build in the coming years."

The trio aims to create original triple-A games that are "genuinely uplifting and inclusive for players around the world." Oneal emphasized that the studio's games would be "a reflection of our team culture. We're doing the work up front to make sure we're fostering creativity, fully remote collaboration, and a diversity of backgrounds."

At time of writing, Magic Soup appears to solely consist of Oneal, Donham, and Brack. The studio (which, again, is fully remote) has some positions open. 

At next week's Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Oneal will be a keynote speaker  featuring Outerloop co-founder Chandana Ekanayake and ControlZee CEO Robert Anderberg. On March 22, the trio will cover topics such as creating a healthy studio culture, particularly as it pertains to remote workforces. 

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About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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