Greg Canessa, VP of video game platforms at casual games behemoth PopCap, has left the company to go work for an entirely different titan – Warcraft developers Blizzard Entertainment.

The move is a radical shift for Canessa, who spent seven years prior to his time at PopCap as the group manager for Microsoft’s Xbox Live – what would eventually become Xbox Live Arcade. Like PopCap, XBLA focuses on “casual” titles that are easy to pick up and play, meant for 15-minute play sessions instead of multi-hour marathons (…usually.)

So what’s he doing over at a studio reowned for its multi-million-dollar hardcore blockbusters? Our colleagues at Joystiq wonder if he could be working on bringing Bookworm to World of Warcraft, thereby completing the unholy fusion of PopCap’s main trinity – Bookworm, Bejeweled, and Peggle – with the world’s most popular MMORPG. A frightening concept, to be sure.

Or, on the other hand, he could be there to help staff Blizzard’s mysterious fifth “unannounced project.” Why bring a casual games stalwart on board if you’re not planning on using his expertise for, y’know, casual games? It would make no sense to put him on the design team for a game like WoW, StarCraft II, or Diablo III.

Now, no one’s saying that this is evidence that Blizzard’s fifth project is going to suddenly turn out to be a casual game a la PopCap, but … it’s enough to make one think, isn’t it?


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