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ESA Foundation to Honor Blizzard Entertainment’s Mike Morhaime at 2011 “Nite to Unite for Kids”

Table and Ticket Sales Now Open for 2011 Industry Black-Tie Fundraiser

September 29, 2011 – WASHINGTON, DC – The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) Foundation, the computer and video game industry’s philanthropic arm, today announced Mike Morhaime, president, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc., as the 2011 Champion Honoree for this year’s ”Nite to Unite – for Kids” (NTU). The gala occurs October 25 in San Francisco, and is the video game industry’s annual charity event.

An active philanthropist, Mr. Morhaime will receive this honor for his commitment to improving the quality of life for children affected by life-threatening medical conditions, specifically through his longstanding relationship with the Make-A-Wish Foundation®. Morhaime is also widely recognized as an industry pioneer. Under his direction and leadership, Blizzard Entertainment transformed from a small third-party development studio into a global enterprise while maintaining the core values and focus on quality that have been a hallmark of the company since its inception. With 13 #1-selling games, including Diablo®, StarCraft®, and World of Warcraft®, and numerous Game of the Year awards, Blizzard Entertainment is a favorite developer and publisher among gamers throughout the world.

“Mike’s generous and consistent support of the Make-A-Wish Foundation sets a strong example for all of us,” said Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of the ESA, the trade association that represents U.S. computer and video game publishers. “Through company-sponsored initiatives, Mike and Blizzard Entertainment raised nearly two million dollars over the past two years alone to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions and to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Mike’s enthusiasm for improving the lives of young children is a testament to his character.”

Morhaime joins a distinguished list of entertainment software industry leaders recognized each year at NTU. Robbie Bach, former president of Microsoft Corporation’s Entertainment & Devices Division, received the top honor in 2010.

Both individuals and companies are welcome to attend NTU. Tickets are $750 for individuals, and table sponsorships are available. The proceeds from the black-tie optional dinner, auction and charity casino night enable the ESA Foundation to improve the lives of American children through grants to a wide variety of organizations.

Co-chairs for the 2011 NTU are Laurent Detoc, president of Ubisoft Entertainment, Inc.; Shinji Hirano, president of Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc.; and Mike Fischer, president and CEO of Square Enix, Inc. The casino night portion of the evening is sponsored by International Data Group (IDG) and GamePro.

For ticket information, contact Leslie Price at

The ESA Foundation was created by the American entertainment software industry to provide opportunities that can make a difference in the lives of America’s youth. The Foundation is fully supported by proceeds from their limited edition charity game pack’s sales and "Nite to Unite - for Kids," its annual fund-raiser, which has raised more than $12 million to date. For more information about the ESA Foundation, please visit


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