Blizzard Entertainment® is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software. After establishing the Blizzard Entertainment label in 1994, the company quickly became one of the most popular and well-respected makers of computer games. By focusing on creating well-designed, highly enjoyable entertainment experiences, Blizzard Entertainment has maintained an unparalleled reputation for quality since its inception.
Blizzard Entertainment’s track record of back-to-back #1-selling games spans more than a decade, and with blockbuster hits such as World of Warcraft®, Warcraft® III: Reign of Chaos®, Diablo® II, and StarCraft®, the company has earned several consecutive Game of the Year awards. In addition, Blizzard Entertainment’s online-game service, Battle.net®, is one of the largest in the world, with millions of active users.
The high-quality products based on Blizzard Entertainment’s games have also proven popular and garnered critical acclaim. These products include action figures, novels, manga, board games, pen-and-paper role-playing games, apparel, and the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game, which is a bestseller in its category. Extending the reach of its game universes even further, Blizzard Entertainment is currently at work with Legendary Pictures, the studio behind the feature films Watchmen, The Dark Knight, Batman Begins, Superman Returns, and 300, on a live-action Warcraft movie.
Blizzard Entertainment’s most recent game release was World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King™, the second expansion set to the company’s bestselling and award-winning subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game, World of Warcraft. Wrath of the Lich King launched in November 2008 in North America, Latin America, Europe, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand, and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau. It sold a record-setting 2.8 million copies in its first 24 hours of availability, and over 4 million in its first month, making it the fastest-selling PC game of all time.
World of Warcraft has achieved unprecedented popularity on a global scale, with millions of subscribers worldwide.
This record was previously held by World of Warcraft’s first expansion, World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade®, which sold approximately 2.4 million copies in its first 24 hours, and went on to sell a record 3.5 million copies within its first month. The expansion was launched in South Korea in February 2007, the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau in April 2007, and mainland China in September 2007.
World of Warcraft initially launched on November 23, 2004 in North America, Australia, and New Zealand, with subsequent launches in South Korea, Europe, mainland China, Singapore, and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau in 2005, Malaysia in 2006, Thailand in 2007, and Latin America and Russia in 2008. The game has achieved unprecedented popularity on a global scale, with millions of subscribers worldwide. It is available in eight different languages based on the regions in which it is played, and has earned awards and praise from publications around the world.
Blizzard's original Warcraft game, Warcraft: Orcs & Humans™, was touted as one of the best strategy games of 1994, and the game’s epic sequel, 1995’s Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness™, won numerous awards, including the company’s first Game of the Year award. Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, released in July 2002, has likewise won several accolades and, like StarCraft, has become a staple of professional tournament gaming, along with its expansion, the award-winning Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne®, which was released in July 2003.
On June 28, 2008, Blizzard Entertainment unveiled Diablo III, the latest entry in its landmark action-role-playing game (RPG) franchise, at the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational event in Paris, France. The original Diablo, which shipped to stores in the last week of December 1996, debuted at #1 in the United States and was widely credited as having helped to revitalize the RPG genre. In 2000, Blizzard Entertainment launched the game’s sequel, Diablo II, which set the record for fastest-selling PC game ever at the time of its release. The company followed up in 2001 with the expansion, Diablo II: Lord of Destruction™, which sold more than a million copies in its first month and was one of the biggest sellers of 2001, in addition to receiving widespread critical acclaim.
On May 19, 2007, at the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational event in Seoul, South Korea, the company announced that StarCraft II, the hotly anticipated sequel to one of the highest rated real-time strategy games of all time, was in development. The original StarCraft, which Blizzard Entertainment released in March 1998, was the company’s third #1 seller and was listed as the bestselling game of 1998 by PC Data. The game’s expansion set, StarCraft: Brood War™, was named best expansion of 1998 and is still considered by many critics to be one of the best add-on products to date.
In South Korea, StarCraft’s mass popularity played a major role in the birth of the professional-gaming and game-broadcasting phenomena.
StarCraft is a long-running staple of professional tournament gaming. This is especially the case in South Korea, where the game’s mass popularity played a major role in the birth of the professional-gaming and game-broadcasting phenomena, as well as serving as one of the key drivers behind the growth of the PC-game-room business.
Prior to the release of Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, Blizzard Entertainment served as a third-party developer, creating entertainment software for various platforms, including MS-DOS, Macintosh, Sega Genesis, and Super NES. The company’s best-known titles from this era include Rock ‘n Roll Racing®, The Lost Vikings®, and Blackthorne™.
The Blizzard Entertainment research and development group comprises more than 250 designers, producers, programmers, artists, and sound engineers. Each member of the Blizzard Entertainment staff is a true game enthusiast, giving the company invaluable insight into creating products for gamers.
Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., Blizzard Entertainment, a division of Activision Blizzard, was founded in 1991 under the name Silicon & Synapse by Allen Adham, President & CEO Michael Morhaime, and Executive Vice President Frank Pearce.