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The Real Deal Los Angeles

Video game developer drops $12M for Hollywood Hills “castle”

Jeff Strain's company Undead Labs was recently bought by Microsoft
October 03, 2018 04:00PM

Jeff Strain and the so-called “Castle” in the Hollywood Hills

Whoever said that playing video games can’t make you rich hasn’t been to Los Angeles lately.

Jeff Strain, who helped create the massively popular computer games “World of Warcraft” and “Starcraft,” dropped $12 million for a mansion in the Hollywood Hills that’s been nicknamed the Castle, according to Yolanda’s Little Black Book.

The 7,770-square-foot home was recently renovated by the husband-and-wife home flippers and design team Robert and Cortney Novogratz. They’re the stars of the short-lived “9 by Design” show on Bravo and “Home by Novogratz” on HGTV. The couple bought the home in 2015 for $3.8 million to live in with their seven kids and did extensive renovations.

They documented the project with an internet series appropriately called “The Castle Next Door,” in 2016 and spoke to the The Real Deal about the show.

They knocked out some walls — reducing the bedroom count from seven to four — updated the kitchen, and installed new hardwood floors, according to Yolanda’s Little Black Book. The home also has a home theater, a basketball court, and a game room that should go down well with Strain and his wife Annie’s five children.

Strain made a name for himself at video game development company Blizzard and then founded a series of successful game companies that were bought out by much larger developers.

A recent buyout by Microsoft of his latest company, Undead Labs, could be what prompted his move to Los Angeles, although it isn’t clear what Strain was paid in the sale. Strain appears to be staying on board and the company will remain headquartered in Seattle. Still, L.A. is a lot closer than his family’s last digs, which were in New Orleans. [Yolanda’s Little Black Book] – Dennis Lynch