Blizzard Entertainment is a game developer best known for creating three major franchises: the Warcraft series, the Diablo series and the StarCraft series. They are a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard.
- Feburuary 8, 1991 (as Silicon & Synapse)
- Name History
- Silicon & Synapse (1991-1994)
- Chaos Studios (1994)
- Blizzard Entertainment (1994-present)
- Michael Morhaime
- Allen Adham
- Frank Pearce
- Irvine, California, United States
- Key people
- Michael Morhaime (President and Co-Founder)
- Frank Pearce (Vice President and Co-Founder)
- Rob Pardo (Vice President)
- Chris Metzen (Vice President of Creative Development)
- Allen Adham (former President and Co-Founder)
- Major Franchises
- Warcraft series
- Diablo series
- StarCraft series
- Official Site
Formation as Silicon & Synapse, First Acquisition and Name Change
Only a year after graduating university, Michael Morhaime]], Allen Adham and Frank Pearce formed Silicon & Synapse who began by creating game ports, and later released Rock n' Roll Racing and The Lost Vikings. In early 1994 Davidson & Associates acquired the company for $6.75 million, and later that year they changed their name to Chaos Studios.
Blizzard Entertainment and creation of Warcraft
Later in 1994 the company realised another company with the name Chaos existed, so they again changed their name, this time to Blizzard Entertainment. In November 1994 the company released Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, one of the earliest RTS games (after Dune II in 1992).
Blizzard released a sequel, Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness in 1995, and an expansion Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal in 1996.
Creation of Diablo and StarCraft
In 1996 Diablo was released to critical acclaim1. A dark fantasy/horror action game took players through many dungeon floors battling hordes of hellish creatures.
In 1998 StarCraft was released, which has since sold over 11 million copies worldwide. It has reached significant popularity in South Korea, where many professional competitions and televised tournaments are held, often with very large cash prizes.
Continuation of Franchises and World of Warcraft
In 2000 Diablo II was released, along with an expansion Diablo II: Lord of Destruction in 2001. Following this in 2002 Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos along with its expansion Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne in 2003.
In November 2004, the company launched World of Warcraft. The MMORPG became a juggernaut, boasting 10.2 million paying subscribers as of December 20112. Taking the stories told in previous titles, the game was successful at taking these to an online and ever-developing world.
2007 saw the first expansion for the MMORPG, World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade. World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King was released a year later, followed by World of Warcraft: Cataclysm in 2010.
Twelve years after the last entry in the series was seen, StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty was released in 2010 and sold 3 million copies in its first month of release3.
Keeping with the twelve year gap from StarCraft, Diablo III was released in 2012 and set the record as Amazon's most preordered PC game of all time4.
In May 2006 Legendary Pictures acquired the rights to adapt Warcraft into a film. It has since been revealed that Sam Raimi is signed on to direct the film5.