What about Arena.Net? http://www.arena.net/about/index.html Then there was Click Entertainment...
Can't deny that the brain drain has been significant.
Significant in what way? There are still plenty of the original founders and core members there. Every company is going to lose people. (Look at Valve and id; both of them have lost all but one of their original founders (granted, Valve only had to lose one guy to accomplish that, but you get the point)
Sure losing those three guys to Triforge (Later became Arena.net) wasn’t a good thing, some of them were there since before WarCraft I, and it would be silly to say they wouldn’t have SOME sort of impact. However, it does a disservice to the rest of Blizzard to say that they were in any way responsible for EVERTHING that went right at Blizzard. Especially when there’s a ton of guys still there who have been there as long (or longer) as those three.
Bill Roper was a big loss in that he was pretty much the visible face of Blizzard (Along with providing the voices for the original Orcs and Humans :D), however, he was not the only guy in charge there. It’s basically pissing on Michael Morhain and Allen Adhem (Who, without them, there would be no Blizzard) to say Blizzard can’t cope without him. He’ll be missed of course, but it’s not like he was the only piller at Blizzard. The loss of the Arena.net and Flagship guys most certainly had an impact on Blizzard, but to totally disrupt it to the point where nothing of worth remains? I highly doubt it.
Of course, how much weight each person at Blizzard pulls is ultimately unknown to you, me, and every random Internet troll. And I’m sure we’ll all just disregard the constant “It’s a team effort” and “There’s really not a single key person” comments as untrue pleasantries and industry courtesy, no matter who it comes from: the Arena.net guys, Bill Roper, Chris Metzen or pretty much EVERY Blizzard employee who has ever been asked about it.
Ultimately, it’s irrelevant. My point is that saying that all of the “big dogs” are gone is utter bull. Many of the core people are still there. IMO, the spirit and course of Blizzard is still there and if losing a handful of people every now and then means that the Blizzard we know no longer exists, then the Blizzard “we know” died with each and every game they made. WarCraft I’s Blizzard was not WarCraft II’s Blizzard; War2’s Blizzard was not StarCraft’s Blizzard, etc. etc.
However, yes, the current server situation is utter bullshit. Hopefully they’ll get it fixed; if not, they’ll lose money in the long run. No skin off my back, I guess.
(Oh, and as for Click Entertainment: it was founded by 2 (TWO!) guys from Blizzard North; who weren’t even in charge of anything apparently. Blizzard North then went on to make Diablo II. Click seems to have disappeared in the time since then. I think it’s safe to say they weren’t a significant impact on Blizzard North’s creative abilities. (Was Diablo II a better game than Diablo? I’d say so. Was the Diablo series good to begin with? Eh, I’ll leave that up to you.))