World of Warcraft publisher Blizzard Entertainment has poached casual games expert Greg Canessa from PopCap Games. Canessa’s new title isn’t clear, but Joystiq has confirmed that he’ll be working on an “unannounced project in the online space” for the World of Warcraft publisher.
Canessa previously focused on bridging the gap between casual and core games at PopCap, where he’d served as VP of video game platforms (PopCap recently put out versions of games like Bejeweled that could run in WoW, for example); before that, he was group manager of Xbox Live Arcade.
His move has sparked a ton of curiosity around Blizzard’s upcoming casual game ambitions. The company (a division of Activision) has an enduring franchise in WoW, and it could be planning to integrate more casual gameplay into the MMO — or even be working on a more casual-oriented MMO (like *Sony* Online Entertainment’s Free Realms).