We were recently approached by our good friends at Blizzard Entertainment to create a special service award for employees with 20 years of employment. The award was revealed for the first time last week and the entire company was thrilled with the results. The crown was a joint effort by Weta artists Will Furneaux (3D modelling), Shari Finn (model making), Bruce Campbell (molding), Dordi Bruland Moen and Sourisak Chanpaseuth (painting), based on a unique design created by Blizzard Entertainment.
Blizzard’s Nick Carpenter, VP of art and cinematic development, shared some additional thoughts:
Coming up with a design for our 20-year service award was no ordinary task. It had to be truly epic and make the recipient feel that he or she was part of something special and rare in our industry. Considering that we award 5-year employees with a sword, and 10-year employees with a shield, a badass crown felt like the right thing do.
We wanted it to draw from all of our games without being specific to any one of them. It had to stand on its own while still feeling true to what Blizzard is all about. So what we ultimately arrived at, after more than a year of off-and-on concept runs with an army of artists from around the company, was a design that has a touch of the Lich King’s helmet, a bit of Imperius’s armor, some of King Terenas’s crown, and a hint of protoss curves for good measure.
After we completed the design and created a detailed 3D sculpture, we passed it over to our good friends at Weta. They had created the bronze orc statue for our campus courtyard a few years back, and we were blown away by how that turned out, so they were an obvious choice for this new piece. It was no small challenge, though. We wanted this thing to be heavy—each one handmade out of real metal, leather, and glass and lovingly polished—in order to represent to every employee who receives it the weight of 20 years’ worth of accomplishments at Blizzard and the company’s gratitude for their dedication and service.
The end result is just spectacular, and I want to thank Weta for helping us honor our longest-serving employees in true Blizzard fashion. We feel that the people at Weta really understand Blizzard. They’re willing to go the extra mile to make sure that every little detail is taken care of, and that’s why they’re among the best of the best at what they do."