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BlizzardEnt

Blizzard Entertainment logo

Blizzard Entertainment is a PC game developer and publisher. Since its release of Warcraft in 1994, it has been one of the most successful game development studios in the world. Its headquarters are based in Irvine, California. The company has a history of largely overshooting release dates; however, many Blizzard fans see this as somewhat of a blessing in disguise, as Blizzard has a reputation for producing classic games that are played for years to come. Blizzard also has a reputation for taking fierce legal action against anyone who reverse engineers their software, copies their game concepts, or publishes third-party server software that is compatible with all of their games.

OverviewEdit

Blizzard Entertainment was founded in February, 1991 as Silicon & Synapse by Mike Morhaime, Allen Adham and Frank Pearce. The company developed games like Rock & Roll Racing and The Lost Vikings (published by Interplay Productions). In 1994, the company briefly changed its name to Chaos Studios, before finally settling on Blizzard Entertainment after it was discovered that another company with the Chaos name already existed. That same year, they were acquired by distributor Davidson & Associates for under USD$10 million. Shortly thereafter, Blizzard shipped their breakthrough hit Warcraft.

Blizzard has changed hands several times since then; Davidson was acquired by a timeshare company called CUC International in 1996; CUC then merged with a hotel, real-estate, and car-rental franchiser called HFS Corporation to form Cendant Software, in 1997. In 1998 it became apparent that CUC had engaged in accounting fraud for years before the merger; Cendant's stock lost 80% of its value over the next six months in the ensuing widely discussed accounting scandal. The company sold its consumer software operations, including Blizzard, to French publisher Havas in 1998, the same year Havas was purchased by Vivendi. Blizzard is now part of the VU Games group of Vivendi Universal.

In 1996, Blizzard acquired Condor Games, which had been working on the game Diablo for Blizzard at the time. Condor was renamed Blizzard North, and has since developed hit games Diablo, Diablo II, and its expansion pack Diablo II: Lord of Destruction. Blizzard North was located in San Mateo, California.

Blizzard launched their online gaming service Battle.net in December 1996 with the release of their action-RPG Diablo.

On November 23, 2004, Blizzard released World of Warcraft, which has grown to become one of the most popular MMORPGs in history.

On May 16, 2005, Blizzard announced the acquisition of Swingin' Ape, a console game maker, which is now Blizzard Console, currently working on Starcraft: Ghost, but in March 2006 (last mentioned on the website on March 30, 2006) they announced that Starcraft: Ghost was on indefinite hold.

On August 1, 2005, Blizzard announced the consolidation of Blizzard North into the headquarters in Irvine, California.

A few months after the closure of Blizzard North, Bill Roper, Erich Schaefer and his brother Max Schaefer co-founded Flagship Studios which developed Mythos (on July 19, 2008 it was announced that due to continuing financial hardships at Flagship Studios, Mythos would be going on hiatus) and Hellgate London released in the fall of 2007.

Blizzard is currently a division of Activision Blizzard, Inc. as a result of a merger that was announced on December 7, 2007. The merger was completed on July 9, 2008.[1]

OrganizationEdit

After the release of World of Warcraft, Blizzard split its development staff into numerically designated teams (e.g. the development team for Diablo III is Team 3. "Strike teams" also exist—not attached to any particular project, but exist to give feedback to the game-specific teams. A "design council" also exists, a gathering of all of the game directors and lead designers throughout the company.[2] The existence of strike teams dates back to the development of Diablo II.[3]

Blizzard GamesEdit

ReleasedEdit

In DevelopmentEdit

  • Untitled Diablo game (TBA)[4]
  • Untitled first-person game (TBA)[5]
  • World of Warcraft: Seventh Expansion (TBA)[2]
  • World of Warcraft: Eighth Expansion (TBA)[6]

UnreleasedEdit

PersonnelEdit

Notable Blizzard personnel include:

ReferencesEdit

  1. IGN: Activision/Vivendi Games Merger Approved
  2. 2.0 2.1 2014-10-03, THE THREE LIVES OF BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENT. Polygon, accessed on 2014-10-04
  3. 2015-09-13, Page 3: In Their Own Words: An Oral History of Diablo II With David Brevik, Max Schaefer, and Erich Schaefer. US Gamer, accessed on 2015-09-15
  4. ART DIRECTOR, UNANNOUNCED PROJECT, Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed on 2015-08-06
  5. November, 2016, Blizzard Working on New First Person Game. Gamerant, accessed on 2016-12-01
  6. 2015-09-07, WoW's Next Expansions Already Planned. GameSpot, accessed on 2015-08-09
  7. 2014-11-23, A brief history of Blizzard's canceled and unreleased games. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2014-09-24
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 2008-02-07, D.I.C.E. '08: Blizzard talks about blowing up. Gamespot, accessed on 2013-05-29
  9. 2012-10-12, Blizzard North considered making Diablo Junior for the Game Boy Color. Joystiq, accessed on 2013-05-29
  10. 10.0 10.1 Blizzard Entertainment Inc., Moby Games. Accessed on 2013-05-28
  11. JudgeHype, Pax Imperia II. Accessed on 2013-05-28
  12. 2013-02-4, The Art of Blizzard Entertainment (book) review…. Inside the Box, accessed on 2013-05-28
  13. 2012-10-23, [http://www.neowin.net/news/diablo-in-space-blizzard-actually-worked-on-starblo Diablo in space? Blizzard actually worked on "Starblo"]. Neowin.net, accessed on 2013-05-29
  14. 2014-09-23, Blizzard cancels its next-gen MMO Titan after seven years. Polygon, accessed on 2014-09-24
  15. 2016-01-09, Marvel Heroes 2015 (January 8 2016). YouTube, accessed on 2016-01-11
  16. 2015-07-31, THE UNSOLVED MYSTERY OF MIKE BOOTH. Blizzpro, accessed on 2015-08-01
  17. 17.0 17.1 2013-11-10, Blizzard Working On Bringing Warcraft & Warcraft II To Modern PCs. Gameinformer, accessed on 2013-12-11
  18. 18.0 18.1 2016-11-10, Blizzard Shuts Down The Idea Of Remaking Early Warcraft Games. iTech Post, accessed on 2016-12-01
  19. 2008, Warcraft IV Confirmed, Starcraft II to be split into a Trilogy. NG4, accessed on 2013-05-29
  20. 2011-10-08, Warcraft IV somewhat confirmed at BlizzCon. SK Gaming, accessed on 2013-05-29
  21. 2013-11-15. Blizz On World Of Warcraft’s Procedural Future, Warcraft IV. Rock, Paper, Shotgun, accessed on 2014-04-09
  22. 2014-08-11, Blizzard Has Considered WoW 2 -- What Would You Like to See?. Gamespot, accessed on 2014-08-16
Blizzard Entertainment

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