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For other uses for Blizzard, see Blizzard.

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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.


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] For much of the decade that followed, Activision and Blizzard effectively remained separate entities. However, in the years leading up to 2018, Activision has reportedly begun to exert more influence over Blizzard, including the sale of Activision games in the Blizzard store. (Former) staff members have expressed concerns over the level of Activision's influence and cultural shifts within the company.[2]

In February 2019, Blizzard underwent a round of layoffs, though announced that it would be expanding its development staff. Teams for some of its IPs, including Diablo, will be expanded.[3]


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.[4] The existence of strike teams dates back to the development of Diablo II.[5] As of August 2017, most of Blizzard's development is focused on supporting its existing IPs, but has a "pipleline" of new IPs.[6] As of November 2018, Blizzard's current model is to continue providing support for existing IPs, but spin-off new teams from existing ones once they reach a certain size to work on new projects.[7]

Blizzard Games


In Development



Notable Blizzard personnel include:


  1. IGN: Activision/Vivendi Games Merger Approved
  2. 2.0 2.1 2018-11-22, The Past, Present, And Future Of Diablo. Kotaku, accessed on 2018-11-22
  3. 2019-02-12, Activision Blizzard has record profits, so it’s cutting 8% of its staff. Blizzard Watch, accessed on 2019-02-13
  4. 2014-10-03, THE THREE LIVES OF BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENT. Polygon, accessed on 2014-10-04
  5. 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
  6. 2017-08-04, Blizzard Has Multiple New IPs Incubating But Won't Rush Them Out. GameSpot, accessed on 2017-08-05
  7. 2018-11-08, Our Full BlizzCon Interview With Blizzard Co-Founder Allen Adham. Game Informer, accessed on 2018-11-22
  8. 2022-04-26, Blizzard Is Developing an Unannounced FPS PVP Project. CBR, accessed on 2022-05-08
  9. 2021-11-16, Overwatch Mobile may be released on 2023 leaked by Blizzard job offering. Esportsgen, accessed on 2022-05-14
  10. 2022-02-09, Blizzard’s Working On An Unannounced RPG Within An Established IP. Segment Next, accessed on 2022-02-10
  11. 2022-01-25, CREATE A NEW UNIVERSE WITH US. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2022-02-03
  12. 2014-11-23, A brief history of Blizzard's canceled and unreleased games. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2014-09-24
  13. 2017-05-11, BlizzCon 2017: How Overwatch rose from Titan’s failure. Blizzard Watch, accessed on 2017-11-05
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 2008-02-07, D.I.C.E. '08: Blizzard talks about blowing up. Gamespot, accessed on 2013-05-29
  15. 2012-10-12, Blizzard North considered making Diablo Junior for the Game Boy Color. Joystiq, accessed on 2013-05-29
  16. 16.0 16.1 Blizzard Entertainment Inc., Moby Games. Accessed on 2013-05-28
  17. JudgeHype, Pax Imperia II. Accessed on 2013-05-28
  18. 2013-02-4, The Art of Blizzard Entertainment (book) review…. Inside the Box, accessed on 2013-05-28
  19. 2021-02-20, ROCK N ROLL RACING’S UNMISTAKABLE INFLUENCE ON THE BLIZZARD STYLE. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2021-04-21
  20. 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
  21. 2014-09-23, Blizzard cancels its next-gen MMO Titan after seven years. Polygon, accessed on 2014-09-24
  22. Sources: Blizzard Cancels StarCraft First-Person Shooter To Focus On Diablo 4 And Overwatch 2 Kotaku.com 06-6-2019
  23. 2016-01-09, Marvel Heroes 2015 (January 8 2016). YouTube, accessed on 2016-01-11
  24. 2015-07-31, THE UNSOLVED MYSTERY OF MIKE BOOTH. Blizzpro, accessed on 2015-08-01
  25. 2008, Warcraft IV Confirmed, Starcraft II to be split into a Trilogy. NG4, accessed on 2013-05-29
  26. 2011-10-08, Warcraft IV somewhat confirmed at BlizzCon. SK Gaming, accessed on 2013-05-29
  27. 2013-11-15. Blizz On World Of Warcraft’s Procedural Future, Warcraft IV. Rock, Paper, Shotgun, accessed on 2014-04-09
  28. 2014-08-11, Blizzard Has Considered WoW 2 -- What Would You Like to See?. Gamespot, accessed on 2014-08-16
  29. Jason Schreier 2022-05-03. Activision Blizzard Unveils Warcraft Mobile Game and Cancels Another. Bloomberg.
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