Our anniversary website wouldn't be complete without an in-depth chronicle of Blizzard Entertainment’s long history. Twenty years is a long time, and much has happened since the company first opened its doors. We invite you to read on and join us on a stroll down memory lane.
1991 Silicon & Synapse, founded this year by Allen Adham, Frank Pearce, and Mike Morhaime, produces RPM Racing, the company's first game.
1993 The Lost Vikings and Rock N' Roll Racing are released. The company is awarded "Best Software Developer of the Year" by VideoGames Magazine.
December 1993 The company changes its name from Silicon & Synapse to Chaos Studios. The year ends with eleven projects shipped. The company has moved into four different offices, and the staff has grown to fifteen people.
April 1994 Davidson & Associates acquires Chaos Studios.
May 1994 The company changes its name from Chaos Studios to Blizzard Entertainment.
November 1994 Warcraft: Orcs & Humans is the first game released under the Blizzard Entertainment label.
December 1994 Blackthorne is released.
March 1995 Justice League Task Force is released for Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo.
June 1995 The Death and Return of Superman is released.
August 1995 The company moves from a 3,600 sq. ft. office in Costa Mesa to a 14,000 sq. ft. office in Irvine, California.
October 1995 Blizzard.com launches. The company finally has an official home on this newfangled "Internet" thing.
December 1995 Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness is released. Oil prices skyrocket across Azeroth.
May 1996 Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal is released. Real estate plummets in Outland.
July 1996 Davidson & Associates is acquired by CUC International, Inc.
September 1996 Warcraft II sells 1.2 million copies, ending 1996 as the #1-selling PC title.
November 1996 Warcraft: Battle Chest is released.
Diablo is released and debuts as the #1-selling PC title. Click click click click click click click.
The Battle.net service launches along with Diablo, making it easier than ever for players to play together online.
January 1997 Battle.net surpasses 150,000 players and 1.5 million games in its first month of operation.
December 1997 CUC International and HFS Incorporated join together to form Cendant.
February 1998 Battle.net hits 1.5 million users.
StarCraft is released.
The PlayStation version of Diablo is released.
June 1998 StarCraft sells 3 million copies in 3 months.
StarCraft: Brood War is released and sells over 1.5 million copies, becoming the #1-selling PC game.
Cendant sells Blizzard and Sierra On-Line to Havas, which is acquired by Vivendi and becomes part of Vivendi Games.
Battle.net hits 4 million unique users by the end of 1998.
May 1999 A copy of StarCraft is taken into space on the shuttle Discovery during the first docking mission for the International Space Station.
July 1999 The company moves offices to 131 Theory, a new 50,000 sq. ft. building.
October 1999 The company sells more than 1 million copies of StarCraft and StarCraft: Brood War in South Korea, becoming the country's most popular game ever.
Diablo II is released. It sells 1 million copies in 3 weeks, making it the fastest-selling computer game in history.
Diablo II cinematics are submitted for an Academy Award.
StarCraft 64 for Nintendo 64 is released.
December 2000 Vivendi acquires Universal Studios, and Blizzard Entertainment becomes part of Vivendi Universal.
June 2001 Diablo II: Lord of Destruction is released. Left mouse buttons the world over cower in fear.
July 2002 Warcraft III is released and becomes the latest fastest-selling PC game in history.
March 2003 The Game Boy Advance versions of The Lost Vikings, Rock N' Roll Racing, and Blackthorne are released.
July 2003 Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne is released and goes on to sell 3.5 million copies, becoming the company's eighth #1-selling game.
January 2004 Blizzard hosts its first Worldwide Invitational event, in South Korea.
February 2004 Blizzard opens offices in Europe and Korea.
November 2004 World of Warcraft is released and breaks all previous sales records on its first day of release in North America, Australia, and New Zealand, becoming the company's ninth #1-selling game.
January 2005 World of Warcraft is released in South Korea.
February 2005 World of Warcraft is released in Europe.
June 2005 World of Warcraft launches in China.
August 2005 World of Warcraft surpasses 4 million players.
October 2005 The company hosts its first BlizzCon, in Anaheim, California.
World of Warcraft launches in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau.
During "College Week" World of Warcraft is featured in a question on Jeopardy
December 2005 World of Warcraft hits 5 million subscribers.
February 2006 The company hosts its second Worldwide Invitational, in South Korea.
October 2006 The World of Warcraft Trading Card Game launches. Comedy Central's South Park airs "Make Love, Not Warcraft," an episode about World of Warcraft.
January 2007 World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade is released. Selling nearly 2.4 million copies in the first 24 hours, it becomes the fastest-selling PC game ever.
March 2007 World of Warcraft hits 8.5 million subscribers.
May 2007 The company hosts its third Worldwide Invitational, in South Korea; StarCraft 2 is announced.
August 2007 The company hosts its second BlizzCon, in Anaheim, California.
December 2007 The company moves offices to the new "campus" location, with three buildings and a gated security entry.
January 2008 World of Warcraft hits 10 million subscribers.
June 2008 The company hosts its fourth Worldwide Invitational, in Paris, France.
World of Warcraft launches in Latin America.
Vivendi and Activision complete their acquisition transaction, forming Activision Blizzard.
World of Warcraft launches in Russia.
BlizzCon tickets go on sale. They sell out in less than 30 minutes, surpassing all previous BlizzCon ticket sale times.
September 2008 Blizzard game music is now available on iTunes.
October 2008 The company hosts its third BlizzCon, in Anaheim, California. More than 15,000 fans get a sneak preview of Wrath of the Lich King, StarCraft II, and Diablo III, featuring the recently announced wizard class.
November 2008 World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King is released. The game sells more than 2.8 million copies in the first 24 hours, making it the fastest-selling PC game of all time. World of Warcraft hits 11 million subscribers worldwide.
August 2009 The company hosts its fourth BlizzCon, in Anaheim, California. Thousands of fans get a sneak preview of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, StarCraft II, and Diablo III, featuring the recently announced monk class.
July 2010 StarCraft II releases with thousands of fans attending midnight sales. The next generation of Battle.net is unveiled.
August 2010 Battle.net becomes self-aware and begins monitoring pro players from across the world to learn their elite strategies. Surely nothing bad could come of this.
October 2010 The company hosts its fifth BlizzCon, in Anaheim, California. Tenacious D rock the closing ceremonies, and a red-shirted fan makes Warcraft history. Literally.
December 2010 World of Warcraft: Cataclysm releases. The game sells more than 3.3 million copies within 24 hours of release, making it the fastest-selling PC game of all time and breaking the previous record held by World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King.
October 2011 The company hosts its sixth BlizzCon at Anaheim Convention Center. Players get a first look at the next World of Warcraft expansion, Mists of Pandaria, as well as Diablo III, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, and Blizzard All Stars.
May 2012 Diablo III is released and sells more than 3.5 million copies within 24 hours, beating the record held by World of Warcraft: Cataclysm to become the fastest-selling PC game to date.
September 2012 World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria releases. The game sold through approximately 2.7 million copies during the first week of its release.
November 2012 The epic conclusion to months of intense competition plays out at the Battle.net® World Championship, where the world’s top 32 StarCraft® II players and top 10 World of Warcraft® Arena teams go head-to-head for the title of world champion.
March 2013 StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm releases. More than 1.1 million viewers tuned into the company's 21-hour, global broadcast of launch events and community celebrations around the world, with peak concurrent viewership reaching over 125,000, as reported by Twitch. As of the end of its first two days of sales, Heart of the Swarm sold through approximately 1.1 million copies worldwide, including both retail and digital sales.
September 2013 Blizzard returns to console development by releasing Diablo III for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation® 3 systems. The revised loot system, difficulty settings, and other updates are well-received by gaming press and players.
November 2013 BlizzCon 2013 overtakes Anaheim with a storm of epic proportions. The fifth World of Warcraft expansion, Warlords of Draenor, is unveiled alongside a fresh look at Heroes of the Storm, while competitors battle it out in the World of Warcraft Arena tournament and StarCraft II WCS Global Finals.
March 2014 Hearthstone™: Heroes of Warcraft™, Blizzard’s free-to-play digital strategy card game, is released on several platforms. Deceptively simple but epically engaging, Hearthstone is designed to be instantly accessible to players regardless of their familiarity with Warcraft or collectible card games.
March 2014 Diablo III‘s Reaper of Souls expansion—is released, selling over 2.7 million copies in the first week of its availability.