Online game company Gazillion promotes former Blizzard exec to No. 2 job

Online game company Gazillion Entertainment has named a former Blizzard executive as its president and chief operating officer.

San Mateo, Calif.-based Gazillion is one of the highest-profile online game companies in the industry with multiple studios working on massively multiplayer online games such as Lego Universe and Marvel Universe. The company recently raised $60 million in funding. So it represents one of the biggest bets that users will continue to play and pay for high-end online games even as free-to-play games become more popular.

David Brevik, who ran Blizzard North at rival Activision Blizzard for seven years, will be the new No. 2 executive at Gazillion. He was previously studio director and project lead for Gazillion’s Marvel Universe, which hasn’t launched yet.

Before joining Gazillion, Brevik was the executive in charge of the Diablo and Diablo II games at Blizzard Entertainment. He also engineered and launched Blizzard’s online gaming service, Battle.Net and was involved in the creation of World of WarCraft.

Jeff Lind will replace Brevik as studio head for Secret Identity (formerly Gargantuan), the Gazillion subsidiary that is creating Marvel Universe. Lind was previously a development director for Electronic Arts and Turbine. Most recently he was development director of Marvel Universe. Gazillion also recently added Dan Fiden as vice president of publishing to focus on digital development and distribution. He previously worked at EA Pogo and Playfish.

Gazillion was founded by Rob Hutter and raised a lot of money at the outset. It announced its Marvel deal in March, 2009. Other backers include Hearst Corp., Abu Dhabi Media Co., Revolution Ventures, and Pelion Ventures. These kinds of games take a lot of people and a long time to develop; many of them take a lot of funding and often go off schedule.

The company has been quiet recently, but earlier this year it shut down a major game at its Slipgate Ironworks studio, headed by Doom co-creator John Romero. That led to some unspecified layoffs.

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