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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 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 January of 1997 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 now is developing 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 7th, 2007. The merger was completed on July 9th, 2008.[1]


  • The Lord of the Rings (1990) - RPG
  • RPM Racing (1991)
  • J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, Vol. I (Amiga port, 1992)
  • Battle Chess II: Chinese Chess (Amiga port, 1992)
  • Castles (Amiga port, 1992)
  • Battle Chess (Windows port, 1992)
  • MicroLeague Baseball (Amiga port, 1992)
  • Lexi-Cross (Macintosh port, 1992)
  • ''Dvorak on Typing (Macintosh port, 1992)
  • The Lost Vikings (1992) - platform game
  • Rock & Roll Racing (1993) - racing gamehttp
  • Blackthorne (1994) - fantasy platform game
  • The Death and Return of Superman (1994) - side-scrolling beat 'em up
  • Warcraft (1994) - fantasy real-time strategy game
  • Justice League Task Force (1995) - one-on-one fighting game
  • The Lost Vikings II (1995) - platform game
  • Warcraft II (1995) - fantasy real-time strategy game
  • Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal (1996) - expansion pack
  • Diablo (1996) - action-oriented computer role-playing game
  • Diablo: Hellfire (1997) - expansion pack
  • StarCraft (1998) - science fiction real-time strategy game
  • StarCraft: Brood War (1998) - expansion pack
  • Diablo II (2000) - action-oriented RPG
  • Diablo II: Lord of Destruction (2001) - expansion pack
  • Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos (2002) - fantasy real-time strategy game
  • Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne (2003) - expansion pack
  • World of Warcraft (2004) - MMORPG set in the Warcraft universe
  • World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade (2007) - Expansion to World of Warcraft
  • World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King (2008) - Expansion to World of Warcraft


  • Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans - Cancelled on May 22, 1998
  • StarCraft: Ghost - Indefinitely postponed on March 24, 2006
  • StarCraft II - In development, and officially announced on May 19, 2007
  • Diablo III - In development, and officially announced on June 28, 2008


Notable Blizzard personel include:


These are the following awards received for Blizzard Entertainment and Diablo related.[2] For other game awards, Template:Gamepedia and StarCraft.

Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition

  • Award of Excellence – The Gamers' Temple
  • Editor's Choice – Just Push Start
  • Editor's Choice – PlayStationLifestyle.net
  • Editor's Choice - ZTGD
  • Editor's Choice - VR World

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls

  • Best Video Game TV Spot for "Face Off"– Golden Trailer Awards
  • Editor's Choice – Digital Trends
  • Editor's Choice – IGN

Diablo III

  • Best Audio for an Online Game – GDC Online 2012
  • Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Commercial or Video Game Trailer – Visual Effects Society - 2012 [Black Soulstone Trailer]
  • Most Popular Video Game — Korea Game Awards 2012
  • Original Score: Video Game – Hollywood Music in Media 2012
  • 2012 Game of the Year – Gamerz Magazine Korea
  • Best PC RPG of 2012 – RPGamer.com
  • Game Audio Network Guild - Audio of the Year Award
  • Best RPG – Bahamut Taiwan

Diablo III Console

  • Best Xbox 360 RPG of 2013 - IGN
  • 2013 RPG of the Year - ZAM
  • 2013 RPG of the Year - Examiner
  • Game of 2013 – Eurogamer.net
  • AAA Co-Op Game of 2013 – Co-Optimus

Diablo II: Lord of Destruction

  • Best Roleplaying and Adventure Game of the Year (Gold Medal) - Wargamer
  • Editor's Choice (5 out of 5 rating) - Computer Games
  • Editor's Choice (4.5 out of 5 rating) - Computer Gaming World
  • Editor's Choice (4.5 out of 5 rating) - Game Pen
  • Editor's Choice (90 percent rating) - Gamesmania
  • Editor's Choice (8.8 out of 10 rating) - IGN
  • Best PC Expansion of 2001 - GamePen
  • Gamers' Choice Expansion Pack Game of the Year - Gamespy
  • Role Playing and Adventure Game of the Year 2001 - Wargamer
  • 90 percent rating - PC Games (Germany)
  • 89 percent rating - PC Gamer (UK)
  • 89 percent rating - Gamestar
  • Runner Up PC Expansion Pack Game of the Year - Gamespy
  • Gamers Choice Award (92 percent rating) - Game Over Online
  • Pure Gold - Gone Gold
  • Golden Heart Award - Gamers Pulse
  • Whoop Ass - Voodoo Extreme
  • Games de Gold - Games.de
  • Freakin' Awesome! - MacAddict
  • Best Expansion Pack of 2001 - January 2002 issue of Macworld

Diablo II

  • Computer Game of the Year - Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences
  • Game of the Year - Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences
  • Game of the Year - PC Dome Magazine
  • Best PC Game of the Year - 2000 European Computer Trade Show Awards
  • Roleplaying Game of the Year - Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences
  • Roleplaying Game of the Year - PC Dome Magazine
  • Excellence in Audio (Matt Uelmen, Jason Hayes, Glenn Stafford & Andrea Pessino) - Game Developers Choice Awards
  • Editors' Choice Award - Computer Gaming World
  • Editor's Choice/Game of the Month - PC Gamer
  • Editor's Choice Awards - GamePro
  • Best Network Game of the Year Award - Play Online Magazine
  • 2000 Game Hall of Fame - MacWorld
  • Roper/Starch Worldwide Best of Issue (September 2000) - Computer Gaming World
  • Golden Fire Hydrants Award - RPG - Happy Puppy
  • Top 20 Video Games of 2000 - Newsweek
  • 94 percent rating - PC Gamer
  • 4.5 out of 5 rating - Computer Gaming World
  • 5 out of 5 rating - Incite
  • 5 out of 5 rating - Maxim Online
  • Direct Hit - Daily Radar
  • 4 out of 5 rating - Computer Games Magazine
  • 3 out of 4 rating - USA Today
  • 4 out of 4 - Dallas Morning News


  • Game of the Year - Computer Gaming World
  • Game of the Year - Computer Game Entertainment
  • Role-Playing Game of the Year - Computer Games Strategy Plus
  • Role-Playing Game of the Year - Computer Net Player
  • Role-Playing Game of the Year - Online Game Review
  • Role-Playing Game of the Year - Gamecenter
  • Role-Playing Game of the Year - runner-up - PC Gamer
  • 1998 Best Role-Playing Game - Software Publishers Association
  • 1998 Best Multiplayer Online Game - Software Publishers Association
  • Best Role-playing Game of the Year, Editor's Choice Awards - PC Games
  • Ranked second Best Role-Playing game of All Time - Gamecenter
  • Editors' Choice Award - PC Gamer
  • CG Choice Award - Computer Gaming World
    1. 5 Reader's Top 50 - PC Gamer
  • A+ rating - GamePen
  • 90 Percent rating - PC Gamer
  • 10 out of 10 rating - Computer Net Player
  • 10 out of 10 rating - Online Game Review
  • 9.6 out of 10 rating - Gamespot
  • 5 out of 5 rating - Gamecenter
  • 4.5 out of 5 rating - Computer Gaming World


This section contains facts and trivia relevant to this article

  • The phrase "There is no cow level" is a running joke started by the company's game designers stemming from repeated rumors on Battle.net that a "secret cow level" existed in Diablo. The phrase "There is no cow level" was a cheat code in the original Starcraft game. In Diablo 2, a cow level was made as a secret level.
  • In Blizzard's real-time strategy games (the Starcraft and Warcraft series), clicking on a character repeatedly will invoke humorous sound bites, with the most famous being the Orc Grunt's "Stop poking me!" Blizzard most likely took note of this, because in Warcraft III the same units said similar things such as "Why are you poking me again?" and "Poke poke poke, is that all you do?"
  • In the Starcraft and Warcraft series, clicking on a "critter" repeatedly about 20 times will make it explode semi-violently.
  • In Blizzard's MMORPG game (World of Warcraft), clicking on a friendly NPC repeatedly will invoke humorous sound bites, with the most famous being the gnome's "Blah blah blah blah blah."
  • The Starcraft cheat "operation cwal" was formed after a group, who looked forward to the release of Starcraft and did many things to prove how much they loved Starcraft. Blizzard, noticing this group, named a cheat after them which stands for "can't wait any longer." Primarily the group wrote fan fiction about special operatives raiding the Blizzard headquarters in order to free the game.
  • The games "Starcraft" and "Warcraft" are rumored to be based on the table top game "Warhammer" and "Warhammer 40,000", it is rumored that Warcraft was supposed to be a Warhammer PC game in development but a fall out between Gamesworkshop and Blizzard occurred. One link to this rumor can be found in "Warcraft III", if you repeatedly click a griffon rider he will say "This Warhammer cost 40K", 40K being a shortening of 40,000.