Blizzard Entertainment is a world leading developer and publisher renowned for creating some of the industry’s most critically acclaimed games.
The company is a pioneer in the field of online multiplayer, with the landmark gaming network Battle.net, the world’s most popular subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game in World of Warcraft (2004), and the eSports mainstay StarCraft (1998) series. With a track record that includes thirteen number one games and multiple Game of the Year awards, Blizzard Entertainment has gone on to establish one of the largest online followings of any game company worldwide.
The company was established in 1991 as Silicon & Synapse by three college friends, Michael Morhaime, Allen Adham, and Frank Pearce. The company began by porting existing games to new platforms, moved on to creating original titles, and then in 1994 changed its name to Blizzard Entertainment and released the first game in the Warcraft series, Warcraft: Orcs & Humans (1994). The game became one of the foundations of the burgeoning real-time strategy genre, introducing gameplay features that would become standards. Since that time, the company has grown dramatically, fostering three of the game world's most thriving and respected series: World of Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo, and establishing itself as a leading creator of online games.
The use of online multiplayer features quickly became one of Blizzard Entertainment’s calling cards, and the release of the action-role-playing game Diablo (1996) also saw the launch of the online gaming service Battle.net, which has grown and become one of the largest online gaming networks in the world. Two years later, the release of StarCraft saw Blizzard Entertainment return to the RTS genre, however this time with a sci-fi twist. Since its release, the multi-award winning StarCraft has been praised as one of the most significant games of all time for its three distinct and equal races, and the way its competitive multiplayer spurred the rise of professional gaming tournaments, especially in Korea.
Building on the momentum from the success of their previous games, Blizzard's World of Warcraft is the game that has gained them the widest recognition. A massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), World of Warcraft presents a richly-detailed, multiplayer fantasy world where millions of players from around the world interact using custom avatars created from a selection of races and classes. The game’s lore creates a unique universe with history and mythology that is as much a space for socialising as for gaming. Each of the game’s three expansion packs in turn has set a new record for the fastest-selling PC game of all time.
With the recent release of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty (2010) and Diablo III (2012), and the imminent launches of StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, and World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, Blizzard Entertainment continues to set the standard for online multiplayer gaming.