Blizzard Entertainment

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NeutralBlizzard Entertainment
Blizzard Entertainment logo.svg
Computer and video game publisher
Main leader

Michael Morhaime (president and co-founder)
Frank Pearce (vice president and co-founder)

Secondary leaders

Paul Sams (Chief Creative Officer)
Chris Metzen (vice president of Creative Development)
J. Allen Brack (lead producer on World of Warcraft)
Tom Chilton (lead designer on World of Warcraft)


Irvine, California, USA

Theater of operations

Quality RTS and RPG video games

Main language


Secondary languages

Chinese, French, German, Italian, Korean, Portuguese (Brazilian), Russian, Spanish



A statue of an orc riding a wolf, located outside Blizzard's office.

Blizzard Entertainment® (often shortened to "Blizzard" or "Blizz" by players) is the company responsible for the Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo franchises. Besides the general list of products below, this article contains links to websites dedicated to Blizzard's specific products and the company in general.

In July 2008, Blizzard's parent company, Vivendi, merged their Vivendi Games subsidiary with Activision to create a new holding company called Activision Blizzard.[1] [2] Five years later, in July 2013, Vivendi sold off most of its shares in Activision Blizzard, which now exists as an independent company.[3] As of October 2014, the company employs over 3,900 individuals.[4]

Core values

Blizzard Entertainment lists its eight core values on their mission statement page:

  1. Gameplay first
  2. Commit to quality
  3. Play nice; play fair
  4. Embrace your inner geek
  5. Every voice matters
  6. Think globally
  7. Lead responsibly
  8. Learn and grow[5]


Originally named Silicon & Synapse, the company was founded in 1991 in Irvine, California by Allen Adham and Michael Morhaime, with Brian Fargo, the CEO and founder of Interplay Entertainment, being granted a share in the company to improve the prospects of working jointly for the young studio. Frank Pearce also joined the studio upon inception as the first employee.[6]

The small company initially did many "ports", converting games from one platform operating system to another, including board games (Battle Chess, Lexicross), strategy games (Castles), sports games (Amiga Baseball), and others (Dvorak Teaches Typing), though the company did become the first American developer to release a Super Nintendo title with RPM Racing, which became one of the first ten launch titles for the platform in North America.[6]

It was not until Interplay Entertainment and Silicon & Synapse collaborated on the SNES side-scroller The Lost Vikings that its critical -- though not commercial -- breakthrough came. With some acclaim, the game hit the shelves in 1993. The game's release, along with Rock & Roll Racking (also 1993) led Nintendo to name the studio its "Developer of the Year". Tragically, the release of the two games coincided with the death of the 16-bit console market, and neither title sold well.[6]

Facing a lack of success in the console market, and not willing to bet solely on one market, the company continued developing several 16-bit console titles while branching out by starting development on two new games: Games People Play, a crossword/word-game that was never completed, and Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, whose development was led by its second employee and VP of Research & Development, Patrick Wyatt.[6]

The company temporarily re-branded itself as Chaos Studios and released the game Blackthorne under that studio name, but conflicts with an unregistered trademark for the name "Chaos" caused the company leadership to consider a new name. Upon acquisition by Davidson & Associates, then the #3 North American educational software publisher, in February 1994, the company changed its name to Blizzard Entertainment.[6]

Blizzard turned 20 years old in 2012. Its history is recorded on a timeline on its own site here.[7]

Blizzard North

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Blizzard South

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After the release of World of Warcraft, the company divided its development staff into numerically designated teams (e.g. Team 2 is the dev team for World of Warcraft), each team focusing on a specific project. While relatively small, each team is supported by a much larger cast of employees, as well as being overseen by other groups within the company.

In addition to the numerically designated teams, "strike teams" were formed, as a result of Chris Metzen's desire to keep the company's original culture intact. These teams are not assigned to any one project, but give feedback on separate projects. A "design council" also exists, a gathering of all of the game directors and lead designers throughout the company.[4]

  • Team 1 - Heroes of the Storm
  • Team 2 - World of Warcraft
    • Formed after the release of World of Warcraft to continue development of the game.[4]
  • Team 3 - Diablo franchise[4]
  • Team 4 - Formerly responsible for Titan[4]
    • Formed in the "mid-2000s" to begin work on Titan, the company's big new IP, doomed to be scrapped in 2014.[4] The team's current focus is unknown, but with Titan cancelled, they may be working on the company's next big project.
  • Team 5 - Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft[4]
    • Formed in 2008 for the express purpose of creating Hearthstone, Team 5 is known for being a "small and nimble" team, comprising only 15 members for most of the game's development.[4]

Relationship with Activision Blizzard

On December 2, 2007, Vivendi (Blizzard Entertainment's parent company) announced that their subsidiary Vivendi Games (of which Blizzard Entertainment was a part) would be merging with Activision to form Activision Blizzard. The deal was finalized on July 8, 2008. Vivendi later divested themselves of Activision Blizzard in July, 2013, and it now exists as an independent holding company.

Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. remains Blizzard's brand,[8] as it and Activision continue to exist as separate entities within the Activision Blizzard umbrella.[9] Despite many players' fears, there have been no major changes in Blizzard's operations as a result of these business deals.


Blizzard Entertainment has conferences for Blizzard announcements and demonstrations, known as the Blizzard Entertainment World Wide Invitational and BlizzCon. The first WWI was held in Seoul, South Korea on May 19 and 20, 2007 when Blizzard officially announced StarCraft II. Paris, France hosted the second Invitational on June 28 and 29, 2008.[10]


Since their beginnings as a North American company focusing primarily on the English-speaking market, Blizzard has gone on to become a "global business".[4] As of 2014, more than half of its players are in Asia.[4]

Published games

General games

Warcraft universe

Main article: Warcraft universe
Warcraft Series
  1. Warcraft: Orcs & Humans (Released: 1994)
  2. Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness (Released: 1995)
  3. Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal (Released: 1996)
  4. Warcraft II: The Dark Saga (Released: 1997)
  5. Warcraft II: Edition (Released: 1999)
  6. Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos (Released: 2002)
  7. Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne (Released: 2003)
World of Warcraft Series
  1. World of Warcraft (Released: 2004)
  2. World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade (Released: 2007)
  3. World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King (Released: 2008)
  4. World of Warcraft: Cataclysm (Released: 2010)
  5. World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria (Released: 2012)
  6. World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor (Planned: 2014)
  1. Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft (Released: 2014)
Related pen-and-paper RPG materials

StarCraft universe

For its connections with Warcraft, see StarCraft franchise

Diablo universe

For its connections with Warcraft, see Diablo franchise

In development

Rumored games

Note: Blizzard has confirmed that they are NOT working on a StarCraft or Diablo MMORPG.[18]

  • Diablo IV[19]
  • Prometheus (project codename, rumored to be a new IP)[20]
  • Warcraft IV[21][22]
  • World of Warcraft 2[23]

Unreleased/Cancelled games




Previous employees

Company's ownership

The company's ownership has shifted many times over the years, through mergers, name changes or acquisitions:[6]


According to Hearthstone's Senior Producer Yong Woo, Blizzard employees receive some of their bonus money in "Blizzard bucks", which can be spent on company products such as card packs.[35]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Rob Purchese 2008-06-30. Eurogamer: Blizzard Worldwide Invertational. Retrieved on 2008-01-07.
  3. ^ Elsa Keslassy 2013-07-26. Vivendi Sells Majority Stake in Activision Blizzard for $8.2 Billion. Retrieved on 2014-05-07.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Phillip Kolar. The Three Lives of Blizzard Entertainment. Polygon. Retrieved on 2014-10-04.
  5. ^ Mission Statement. Blizzard Entertainment. Retrieved on 2009-11-16.
  6. ^ a b c d e f
  7. ^ Blizzard Timeline. Blizzard Entertainment. Retrieved on 2012-07-05.
  8. ^ Ordinn 2007-12-02. 0. Activision Blizzard FAQ. WoW General Discussion Forum. Retrieved on 2007-12-02.
  9. ^ Activision Blizzard FAQ.
  10. ^ Worldwide Invitation 2008.
  11. ^ Reaper of Souls. Blizzard Entertainment. Retrieved on 2013-08-15.
  12. ^ 2014-11-07, Goblins vs. Gnomes is Hearthstone Expansion, Slated for December. Blizzpro, retrieved on 2014-08-11
  13. ^ 2014-11-04, Activision Blizzard Q3 2014 Conference Call – Transcript. Blizzplanet, retrieved on 2014-11-05
  14. ^ Blizzard Announces Overwatch
  15. ^ a b c Kyle Hilliard 2013-11-10. Blizzard Working On Bringing Warcraft & Warcraft II To Modern PCs. Gameinformer. Retrieved on 2014-01-03.
  16. ^ a b c BlizzCon 2013 World of Warcraft Q&A Panel
  17. ^ Luke Karmali 2013-11-12. World of Warcraft Sixth Expansion Already in Development. IGN. Retrieved on 2014-01-03.
  18. ^ Blizzard freezes non-WOW MMOG rumors. GameSpot (2006-06-14). Retrieved on 2013-11-13.
  19. ^ Travis Day guaranteed players that the Diablo 4 will Certainly Come. MMORPG Champion (2013-05-21). Retrieved on 2014-04-12.
  20. ^ Goodbye Project Titan, Hello Project Prometheus. Tee Hunter (2014-09-01). Retrieved on 2014-10-05.
  21. ^ Warcraft IV Confirmed, Starcraft II to be split into a Trilogy. NG4 (2008-01-30). Retrieved on 2013-05-29.
  22. ^ Warcraft IV somewhat confirmed at BlizzCon. SK Gaming (2011-10-11). Retrieved on 2013-05-29.
  23. ^ Eddie Makuch 2014-08-15. Blizzard Has Considered WoW 2 -- What Would You Like to See?. Gamespot.
  24. ^ A brief history of Blizzard's canceled and unreleased games. Polygon (2014-09-23). Retrieved on 2014-09-24.
  25. ^ a b c D.I.C.E. '08: Blizzard talks about blowing up. GameSpot (2008-02-07). Retrieved on 2013-05-29.
  26. ^ Blizzard North considered making Diablo Junior for the Game Boy Color. Joystiq (2012-10-12). Retrieved on 2013-05-29.
  27. ^ a b Blizzard Entertainment Inc.. Moby Games. Retrieved on 2013-05-28.
  28. ^ Pax Imperia II. JudgeHype. Retrieved on 2013-05-28.
  29. ^ The Art of Blizzard Entertainment (book) review…. Inside the Box (2013-02-04). Retrieved on 2013-05-28.
  30. ^ Diablo in space? Blizzard actually worked on "Starblo". (2012-10-23). Retrieved on 2013-05-29.
  31. ^ Ross Miller 2014-09-23. Blizzard cancels its 'World of Warcraft' successor. The Verge.
  32. ^ 'StarCraft: Ghost' (PS2/Xbox) Cancelled But Goes Next-Gen. Worthplaying (2006-03-24). Retrieved on 2013-11-13.
  33. ^ Blizzard Entertainment staff, Greg Canessa 2010-02-09. Preview. Blizzard Entertainment. Retrieved on 2010-02-09.
  34. ^ Blizzcon Video Archive (Sonkie vs Yellow). Blizzard Entertainment. Retrieved on 2008-10-19.
  35. ^ Yong Woo, live on stream (2014-12-13).

External links