|Computer and video game publisher|
Irvine, California, USA
|Theater of operations||
Quality RTS and RPG video games
Chinese, French, German, Italian, Korean, Portuguese (Brazilian), Russian, Spanish
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.  Five years later, in July 2013, Vivendi sold off most of its shares in Activision Blizzard, which now exists as an independent company. As of October 2014, the company employs over 3,900 individuals.
- 1 Core values
- 2 History
- 3 Teams
- 4 Relationship with Activision Blizzard
- 5 Conferences
- 6 Notes
- 7 Published games
- 8 Employees
- 9 Trivia
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Blizzard Entertainment lists its eight core values on their mission statement page:
- Gameplay first
- Commit to quality
- Play nice; play fair
- Embrace your inner geek
- Every voice matters
- Think globally
- Lead responsibly
- Learn and grow
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- Team 3 - Diablo franchise
- Team 4 - Formerly responsible for Titan
- Formed in the "mid-2000s" to begin work on Titan, the company's big new IP, doomed to be scrapped in 2014. 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
- 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.
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, as it and Activision continue to exist as separate entities within the Activision Blizzard umbrella. 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.
Since their beginnings as a North American company focusing primarily on the English-speaking market, Blizzard has gone on to become a "global business". As of 2014, more than half of its players are in Asia.
- RPM Racing (Released: 1991)
- J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, Vol. I (Amiga port) (Released: 1992)
- Battle Chess II: Chinese Chess (Amiga port) (Released: 1992)
- Castles (Amiga port) (Released: 1992)
- Battle Chess (Windows port) (Released: 1992)
- MicroLeague Baseball (Amiga port) (Released: 1992)
- Lexi-Cross (Macintosh port) (Released: 1992)
- Dvorak on Typing (Macintosh port) (Released: 1992)
- The Lost Vikings (Released: 1992)
- Rock N' Roll Racing (Released: 1993)
- Shanghai II: Dragon's Eye (Released: 1993)
- Blackthorne (Released: 1994)
- The Death and Return of Superman (Released: 1995)
- Justice League Task Force (Released: 1995)
- The Lost Vikings II (SNES version) (Released: 1997)
- Blackthorne (PC version) (Released: 2013)
- Main article: Warcraft universe
- Warcraft Series
- Warcraft: Orcs & Humans (Released: 1994)
- Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness (Released: 1995)
- Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal (Released: 1996)
- Warcraft II: The Dark Saga (Released: 1997)
- Warcraft II: Battle.net Edition (Released: 1999)
- Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos (Released: 2002)
- Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne (Released: 2003)
- World of Warcraft Series
- World of Warcraft (Released: 2004)
- World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade (Released: 2007)
- World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King (Released: 2008)
- World of Warcraft: Cataclysm (Released: 2010)
- World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria (Released: 2012)
- World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor (Planned: 2014)
- Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft (Released: 2014)
- For its connections with Warcraft, see StarCraft franchise
- StarCraft (Released: 1998)
- StarCraft: Brood War (Released: 1998)
- StarCraft 64 (Released: 2000)
- Related novels by PocketBooks
- For its connections with Warcraft, see Diablo franchise
- Diablo (Released: 1996)
- Diablo (PSX version) (Released: 1998)
- Diablo II (Released: 2000)
- Diablo II: Lord of Destruction (Released: 2001)
- Related novels by PocketBooks
- Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft: Goblins vs. Gnomes (2014)
- Heroes of the Storm (Alpha: 2014, projected release in 2015)
- Overwatch - Team-based multiplayer shooter (TBA)
- StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void (TBA)
- Warcraft: Orcs and Humans port/remake (TBA)
- Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness port/remake (TBA)
- Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos port/remake (TBA)
- World of Warcraft sixth expansion (TBA)
- World of Warcraft seventh expansion (TBA)
- Diablo IV
- Prometheus (project codename, rumored to be a new IP)
- Warcraft IV
- World of Warcraft 2
- Bloodlines (concepts later used for StarCraft)
- Crixia (2D shooter)
- Diablo II: Salvation (trademark patented in 2001)
- Diablo Junior (intended for the Gameboy Color, scrapped due to production costs)
- Diablo MMO (dropped concept)
- Games People Play (crossword puzzles, boggle, and other word games)
- Nomad (Canceled in favor of World of Warcraft)
- Pax Imperia II (rights sold to THQ, later released as Pax Imperia: Eminent Domain)
- Shattered Nations (canceled in favor of StarCraft)
- Starblo (ARPG in a sci-fi setting)
- Titan was the project name for a massively multiplayer online game (MMO) that was being developed as a new IP. In September 2014, Blizzard co-founder and CEO, Mike Morhaime, confirmed with Polygon that the project had been canceled.
- Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans (Canceled on May 22, 1998)
- Starcraft: Ghost (indefinitely postponed on March 24, 2006)
- Allen Adham (vice president and co-founder)
- Greg Canessa (Battle.net 2.0 project coordinator)
- Tom Chilton
- Samwise Didier (art director)
- Mark Gibbons
- Chris Metzen (vice president of creative development)
- Michael Morhaime (president and co-founder)
- Frank Pearce (vice president and co-founder)
- Paul Sams (Chief Creative Officer)
- Brian Holinka (WoW senior game designer, PvP)
- J. Allen Brack (WoW production director)
- Chris Robinson (WoW senior art director)
- Ion Hazzikostas
- Twincruiser (René Koiter and Michel Koiter)
- StarCraft II) Dustin Browder (lead designer of
- Brian Sousa (senior 3D artist for StarCraft II)
- Andy Chambers (creative director)
-  Robert "the Voice" Simpson (esports coordinator)
- David Kim (balance designer)
- Brian T. Kindregan (lead writer)
- Ben Brode (Hearthstone senior game designer)
- Eric Dodds (Hearthstone lead game designer)
- Matt Samia (senior director of cinematics)
- Kevin Yu, aka Karune (battle.net representative)
The company's ownership has shifted many times over the years, through mergers, name changes or acquisitions:
- Davidson & Associates (1994-1996)
- CUC International (1996-1997)
- Cendant Software (1997-1998)
- Havas (1998)
- Vivendi (1998-2007)
- Activision Blizzard (2007-present)
- ^ http://www.activisionblizzard.com/pressReleases/pr120207.php
- ^ Rob Purchese 2008-06-30. Eurogamer: Blizzard Worldwide Invertational. Retrieved on 2008-01-07.
- ^ Elsa Keslassy 2013-07-26. Vivendi Sells Majority Stake in Activision Blizzard for $8.2 Billion. Retrieved on 2014-05-07.
- ^ 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.
- ^ Mission Statement. Blizzard Entertainment. Retrieved on 2009-11-16.
- ^ a b c d e f http://www.mobygames.com/company/blizzard-entertainment-inc
- ^ Blizzard Timeline. Blizzard Entertainment. Retrieved on 2012-07-05.
- ^ Ordinn 2007-12-02. 0. Activision Blizzard FAQ. WoW General Discussion Forum. Retrieved on 2007-12-02.
- ^ Activision Blizzard FAQ.
- ^ Worldwide Invitation 2008.
- ^ Reaper of Souls. Blizzard Entertainment. Retrieved on 2013-08-15.
- ^ 2014-11-07, Goblins vs. Gnomes is Hearthstone Expansion, Slated for December. Blizzpro, retrieved on 2014-08-11
- ^ 2014-11-04, Activision Blizzard Q3 2014 Conference Call – Transcript. Blizzplanet, retrieved on 2014-11-05
- ^ Blizzard Announces Overwatch
- ^ a b c Kyle Hilliard 2013-11-10. Blizzard Working On Bringing Warcraft & Warcraft II To Modern PCs. Gameinformer. Retrieved on 2014-01-03.
- ^ a b c BlizzCon 2013 World of Warcraft Q&A Panel
- ^ Luke Karmali 2013-11-12. World of Warcraft Sixth Expansion Already in Development. IGN. Retrieved on 2014-01-03.
- ^ Blizzard freezes non-WOW MMOG rumors. GameSpot (2006-06-14). Retrieved on 2013-11-13.
- ^ Travis Day guaranteed players that the Diablo 4 will Certainly Come. MMORPG Champion (2013-05-21). Retrieved on 2014-04-12.
- ^ Goodbye Project Titan, Hello Project Prometheus. Tee Hunter (2014-09-01). Retrieved on 2014-10-05.
- ^ Warcraft IV Confirmed, Starcraft II to be split into a Trilogy. NG4 (2008-12-20). Retrieved on 2013-05-29.
- ^ Warcraft IV somewhat confirmed at BlizzCon. SK Gaming (2011-10-11). Retrieved on 2013-05-29.
- ^ Eddie Makuch 2014-08-15. Blizzard Has Considered WoW 2 -- What Would You Like to See?. Gamespot.
- ^ A brief history of Blizzard's canceled and unreleased games. Polygon (2014-09-23). Retrieved on 2014-09-24.
- ^ a b c D.I.C.E. '08: Blizzard talks about blowing up. GameSpot (2008-02-07). Retrieved on 2013-05-29.
- ^ Blizzard North considered making Diablo Junior for the Game Boy Color. Joystiq (2012-10-12). Retrieved on 2013-05-29.
- ^ a b Blizzard Entertainment Inc.. Moby Games. Retrieved on 2013-05-28.
- ^ Pax Imperia II. JudgeHype. Retrieved on 2013-05-28.
- ^ The Art of Blizzard Entertainment (book) review…. Inside the Box (2013-02-04). Retrieved on 2013-05-28.
- ^ Diablo in space? Blizzard actually worked on "Starblo". Neowin.net (2012-10-23). Retrieved on 2013-05-29.
- ^ Ross Miller 2014-09-23. Blizzard cancels its 'World of Warcraft' successor. The Verge.
- ^ 'StarCraft: Ghost' (PS2/Xbox) Cancelled But Goes Next-Gen. Worthplaying (2006-03-24). Retrieved on 2013-11-13.
- ^ Blizzard Entertainment staff, Greg Canessa 2010-02-09. Battle.net Preview. Blizzard Entertainment. Retrieved on 2010-02-09.
- ^ Blizzcon Video Archive (Sonkie vs Yellow). Blizzard Entertainment. Retrieved on 2008-10-19.
- ^ Yong Woo, live on stream (2014-12-13).