Blizzard Entertainment

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.
Industry Video games
Founded 1991; 25 years ago (1991)
as Silicon & Synapse
Founders Allen Adham
Michael Morhaime
Frank Pearce
Headquarters Irvine, California, United States
Coordinates 33°39′30″N 117°46′02″W / 33.6582°N 117.7671°W / 33.6582; -117.7671Coordinates: 33°39′30″N 117°46′02″W / 33.6582°N 117.7671°W / 33.6582; -117.7671
Key people
Michael Morhaime
(President and CEO)
Chris Metzen
(Vice president of Creative Development)
Products The Lost Vikings
Rock n' Roll Racing
Warcraft series
Diablo series
StarCraft series
Heroes of the Storm
Revenue Increase US$ 1.1 billion (2015)[1]
Increase US$ 223 million (2015)[2]
Number of employees
4,700 (As of 2012)[3]
Parent Independent (1991–1994)
Davidson & Associates (1994–1996)
CUC International (1996–1997)
Cendant Corporation (1997–1998)
Havas S.A. (1998)
Vivendi Universal Games (1998–2006)
Vivendi Games (2006–2008)
Activision Blizzard (2008–present)

Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. is an American video game developer and publisher founded February 8, 1991, under the name Silicon & Synapse by three graduates of the University of California, Los Angeles,[4] Michael Morhaime, Frank Pearce, and Allen Adham and is currently a subsidiary of American company Activision Blizzard. Based in Irvine, California, the company originally concentrated primarily on the creation of game ports for other studios before beginning development of their own software in 1993 with the development of games like Rock n' Roll Racing and The Lost Vikings. In 1994 the company became Chaos Studios then Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. after being acquired by distributor Davidson & Associates.

Shortly thereafter, Blizzard shipped out what would become their first breakthrough smash hit Warcraft: Orcs & Humans. Blizzard then went on to create several other successful video games, including other Warcraft sequels, the Diablo series, the StarCraft series, and also in 2004 the popular MMORPG World of Warcraft. Their most recent projects include: the first expansion for Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, the online collectible card game Hearthstone, the fifth expansion for World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor, the "Hero Brawler" Heroes of the Storm and the third and final expansion for StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void. There are two titles that are currently in development: Overwatch, an upcoming multiplayer first-person shooter first announced at BlizzCon on November 7, 2014 that entered beta testing in the third quarter of 2015 and the sixth expansion for World of Warcraft: Legion. It was announced on August 6, 2015 at Gamescom 2015 and its beta testing phase is upcoming in 2016.[5]

On July 9, 2008, Activision officially merged with Vivendi Games, culminating in the inclusion of the Blizzard brand name in the title of the resulting holding company.[6] On July 25, 2013, Activision Blizzard announced the purchase of 429 million shares from majority owner Vivendi. As a result, Activision Blizzard became a completely independent company.[7] Blizzard Entertainment offers events to meet players and to announce games: the BlizzCon in California, United States, and the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational in other countries, including France, and South Korea.


Employees Rob Pardo and Tom Chilton, 2007

Blizzard Entertainment was founded by Michael Morhaime, Allen Adham, and Frank Pearce as Silicon & Synapse on February 8, 1991, a year after[4] all three had received their bachelor's degrees from UCLA.[8] In the early days the company focused on creating game ports for other studios. Ports include titles such as J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, Vol. I and Battle Chess II: Chinese Chess.[9][10] In 1993, the company developed games such as Rock n' Roll Racing and The Lost Vikings (published by Interplay Productions).

In early 1994 they were acquired by distributor Davidson & Associates for $6.75 million ($10.8 million today).[11] That same year 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.[12] Shortly thereafter, Blizzard shipped their breakthrough hit Warcraft: Orcs & Humans.

Blizzard has changed hands several times since then: Davidson was acquired along with Sierra On-Line by a company called CUC International in 1996; CUC then merged with a hotel, real-estate, and car-rental franchiser called HFS Corporation to form Cendant 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, Sierra On-line which included Blizzard, to French publisher Havas in 1998, the same year Havas was purchased by Vivendi. Blizzard was part of the Vivendi Games group of Vivendi. In July 2008 Vivendi Games merged with Activision, using Blizzard's name in the resulting company, Activision Blizzard.

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; the company originated in Redwood City, California.

Blizzard launched their online gaming service in January 1997 with the release of their action-RPG Diablo. In 2002, Blizzard was able to reacquire rights for three of its earlier Silicon & Synapse titles from Interplay Entertainment and re-release them under Game Boy Advance.[13] In 2004, Blizzard opened European offices in the Paris suburb of Vélizy, Yvelines, France, responsible for the European in-game support of World of Warcraft. On November 23, 2004, Blizzard released World of Warcraft, its MMORPG offering. On May 16, 2005, Blizzard announced the acquisition of Swingin' Ape Studios, a video game developer which had been developing StarCraft: Ghost. The company was then merged into Blizzard's other teams after StarCraft: Ghost was "postponed indefinitely". On August 1, 2005, Blizzard announced the consolidation of Blizzard North into the headquarters at 131 Theory in UC Irvine's University Research Park in Irvine, California. In 2007, Blizzard moved their headquarters to 16215 Alton Parkway in Irvine, California.

World of Warcraft was the fourth released game set in the fantasy Warcraft universe, which was first introduced by Warcraft: Orcs & Humans in 1994.[14] Blizzard announced World of Warcraft on September 2, 2001.[15] The game was released on November 23, 2004, on the 10th anniversary of the Warcraft franchise.

The first expansion set of the game, The Burning Crusade, was released on January 16, 2007.[16] The second expansion set, Wrath of the Lich King, was released on November 13, 2008.[17] The third expansion set, Cataclysm[18][19] was released on December 7, 2010.[20] The Mists of Pandaria expansion was released on September 25, 2012, and the most recent expansion, Warlords of Draenor, was released on November 13, 2014.

Having peaked at 12 million monthly subscriptions in 2010, World of Warcraft subscriptions sunk to 6.8 million in 2014, the lowest number since the end of 2006, prior to The Burning Crusade expansion.[21][22][23] However, World of Warcraft is still the world's most-subscribed MMORPG,[17][24][25] and holds the Guinness World Record for the most popular MMORPG by subscribers.[26][27][28][29] In April 2008, World of Warcraft was estimated to hold 62 percent of the MMORPG subscription market.[30] In 2008, Blizzard was honored at the 59th Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards for the creation of World of Warcraft. Mike Morhaime accepted the award.

In 2012 Blizzard had 4,700 employees,[3] with offices across 11 cities including Austin, Texas, and countries around the globe. As of June 2014, the company's headquarters in Irvine, California had 2,620 employees.[31]

Key employees[edit]

  • Michael Morhaime – Co-founder, president (1991–present)
  • Allen Adham – Co-founder, consultant and former president (1991–present)
  • Frank Pearce Jr. – Co-founder, senior vice president (1991–present)
  • Samwise Didier – Senior Art director (1992–present)
  • Bob Fitch – Technical Director (1992–present)
  • Chris Metzen – Vice president of Creative Development (1994–present)
  • Nick Carpenter – Executive art director (1994–present)
  • Matt Samia – Vice-President/Cinematics & Media (1995–present)
  • Jeff Chamberlain – Cinematics director (2000–present)
  • Dustin Browder – Game Director (2007–present)

Former key employees[edit]

  • Alex Mayberry – Lead Game Producer (2004–2014)
  • Joeyray Hall – DVD/Video production supervisor (1992–2015)
  • Bill Roper – Vice-President/Director (1994–2003)
  • Shane Dabiri – Lead producer (1994–2014)
  • Rob Pardo – Executive Vice President of Game Design (1998–2014)
  • Paul W. Sams – Chief Operating Officer (1996–2015)


Games developed[edit]

Company Title Year Platform(s) Genre
as Silicon & Synapse RPM Racing[9] 1991 Super NES Racing video game
The Lost Vikings[32] 1992 Amiga, Amiga CD32, MS-DOS, Genesis, Super NES Side-scrolling video game
Rock n' Roll Racing[32] 1993 Super NES, Genesis Racing video game
as Blizzard Entertainment
Blackthorne[32] 1994 Super NES, MS-DOS, Mac OS Platform game
The Death and Return of Superman[32] 1994 Super NES, Genesis Side-scrolling video game
Warcraft: Orcs & Humans 1994 MS-DOS, Mac OS Real-time strategy game
Justice League Task Force[33] 1995 Super NES Versus fighting game
Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness 1995 MS-DOS, Windows Real-time strategy game
Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal 1996 MS-DOS, Windows Real-time strategy game
Diablo 1996 Windows, Mac OS, PlayStation (console) Action role-playing game
The Lost Vikings 2 1997 Super NES Side-scrolling video game
StarCraft 1998 Windows, Mac OS, N64 Real-time strategy game
StarCraft: Brood War 1998 Windows, Mac OS Expansion pack
Warcraft II: Edition 1999 Windows, Mac OS Real-time strategy game
Diablo II 2000 Windows, Mac OS, OS X Action role-playing game
Diablo II: Lord of Destruction 2001 Windows, Mac OS, OS X Expansion pack
Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos 2002 Windows, Mac OS, OS X Real-time strategy game
Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne 2003 Windows, Mac OS, OS X Expansion pack
World of Warcraft 2004 Windows, OS X MMORPG
World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade 2007 Windows, OS X Expansion pack
World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King 2008 Windows, OS X Expansion pack
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty 2010 Windows, OS X Real-time strategy game
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm 2010 Windows, OS X Expansion pack
Diablo III 2012 Windows, OS X, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One Action role-playing game
World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria 2012 Windows, OS X Expansion pack
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm 2013 Windows, OS X Expansion pack
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft 2014 Windows, OS X, iOS, Android Digital CCG
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls 2014 Windows, OS X, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One Expansion pack
World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor 2014 Windows, OS X Expansion pack
Heroes of the Storm 2015 Windows, OS X Multiplayer online battle arena
StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void 2015[34] Windows, OS X Expansion pack
Overwatch 2016 Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One[35] First person shooter
World of Warcraft: Legion 2016 Windows, OS X Expansion pack


These games were ported while the company was known as Silicon & Synapse.

Title Year Platform(s) Genre
Battle Chess 1992 Windows 3.x and Commodore 64 ports[36] Chess
Battle Chess II: Chinese Chess 1992 Amiga port[36] Chess
J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, Vol. I 1992 Amiga port[36] Role-playing video game
Castles 1992 Amiga port[9] Strategy video game
MicroLeague Baseball 1984 Amiga port[9] Sports video game
Lexi-Cross 1992 Macintosh port[9] Puzzle video game
Dvorak on Typing 1992 Macintosh port[9] Educational game
Shanghai II: Dragon's Eye[36] 1994 Windows 3.x port Mahjong Solitaire

Main franchises[edit]

Currently, Blizzard has three main franchises in the gaming industry: Warcraft, Diablo, and StarCraft. Multiple games have been released for each game series, and other media based around the intellectual property for each franchise. Books have been written to expand the story for each series, along with media such as comics and collectible card games. Blizzard Entertainment announced in 2006 that they will be producing a Warcraft live-action movie. The movie is currently in development, financed and produced by Legendary Pictures, Atlas Entertainment and Film4, and will be distributed by Universal Pictures.[37] It is scheduled to be released in 2016 and is directed by Duncan Jones.

Unreleased games[edit]

Notable unreleased titles include Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans, which was cancelled on May 22, 1998, Shattered Nations, and StarCraft: Ghost, which was "Postponed indefinitely" on March 24, 2006 after being in development hell for much of its lifespan. After seven years of development, Blizzard revealed the cancellation of an unannounced MMO codenamed "Titan" on September 23, 2014.[38] The company also has a history of declining to set release dates, choosing to instead take as much time as needed, generally saying a given product is "done when it's done."[39]

Pax Imperia II was originally announced as a title to be published by Blizzard. Blizzard eventually dropped Pax Imperia II, though, when it decided it might be in conflict with their other space strategy project, which became known as StarCraft. THQ eventually contracted with Heliotrope and released the game in 1997 as Pax Imperia: Eminent Domain.


Warden client[edit]

Blizzard has made use of a special form of software known as the 'Warden Client'. The Warden client is known to be used with Blizzard's Online Games such as Diablo and World of Warcraft, and the Terms of Service contain a clause consenting to the Warden software's RAM scans while a Blizzard game is running.[40]

The Warden client scans a small portion of the code segment of running processes in order to determine whether any third-party programs are running. The goal of this is to detect and address players who may be attempting to run unsigned code or third party programs in the game. This determination of third party programs is made by hashing the scanned strings and comparing the hashed value to a list of hashes assumed to correspond to banned third party programs.[41] The Warden's reliability in correctly discerning legitimate versus illegitimate actions was called into question when a large scale incident happened when many Linux users were banned after an update to Warden caused it to incorrectly detect Cedega as a cheat program.[42] Blizzard issued a statement claiming they had correctly identified and restored all accounts and credited them with 20 days play.[43] Warden scans all processes running on a computer, not just the World of Warcraft game, and could possibly run across what would be considered private information and other personally identifiable information. It is because of these peripheral scans that Warden has been accused of being spyware and has run afoul of controversy among privacy advocates.[44][45][46] 2.0[edit]

Main article:

Blizzard released its revamped service in 2009. This service allows people who have purchased Blizzard products (StarCraft, StarCraft II, Diablo II, and Warcraft III, as well as their expansions) to download digital copies of games they have purchased, without needing any physical media.

On November 11, 2009, Blizzard required all World of Warcraft accounts to switch over to Accounts. This transition now means that all current Blizzard titles can be accessed, downloaded, and played with a singular login.[47] 2.0 is the new platform for matchmaking service for Blizzard games which offers players a host of additional features. Players will now be able to track their friend's achievements, view match history, avatars, etc. Players will also be able to unlock a wide range of achievements (rewards for completing game content) for Blizzard games. This means players can enjoy new avatars, decals, badges etc, for their accounts.

The service also allows players to chat simultaneously with players from other Blizzard games. For example, players no longer need to create multiple user names or accounts for most Blizzard products. StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, World of Warcraft and the Launcher support the ability for users to cross communicate. This means that a player could be in a game of StarCraft II, and he/she may send or receive messages from friends playing World of Warcraft or Diablo III. To enable cross game communication players need to become either Battletag or Real ID friends..

Privacy controversy and Real ID[edit]

On July 6, 2010, Blizzard announced that they were changing the way their forums worked to require that users identify themselves with their real name.[48][49] The reaction from the community was overwhelmingly negative with multiple game magazines calling the change "foolhardy"[50] and an "Epic Fail".[51] It resulted in a significant user response on the Blizzard forums, including one thread on the issue reaching over 11,000 replies.[52][53][54][55][56] This included personal details of a Blizzard employee who gave his real name "to show it wasn't a big deal".[57] Shortly after revealing his real name, forum users posted personal information including his phone number, picture, age, and home address.[52]

Some technology media outlets suggested that displaying real names through Real ID is a good idea and would benefit both and the Blizzard community.[58] But others were worried that Blizzard were opening their fans up to real-life dangers such as stalking, harassment, and employment issues, since a simple Internet search by someone's employer can reveal their online activities.[52][59][60][61]

Blizzard initially responded to some of the concerns by saying that the changes would not be retroactive to previous posts, that parents could set up the system so that minors cannot post, and that posting to the forums is optional.[62] However, due to the huge negative response, Blizzard President Michael Morhaime issued a statement rescinding the plan to use real names on Blizzard's forums for the time being.[63]

Apart from the negative side effects of Real ID relating to privacy, the new addition boasts new features for current Blizzard titles. For instance, real names for friends, cross-realm and cross-game chat, rich presence and broadcasts are included with the Real ID system.[64]

Legal disputes[edit]

StarCraft privacy lawsuit[edit]

In 1998, Donald P. Driscoll, an Albany, California attorney filed a suit on behalf of Intervention, Inc., a California consumer group against Blizzard Entertainment for "unlawful business practices" for the action of collecting data from a user's computer without their permission.[65][66]


Main article: Stratagus

On June 20, 2003, Blizzard issued a cease and desist letter to the developers of an open source clone of the Warcraft engine called FreeCraft, claiming trademark infringement. This hobby project had the same gameplay and characters as Warcraft II, but came with different graphics and music.

As well as a similar name, FreeCraft enabled gamers to use Warcraft II graphics, provided they had the Warcraft II CD. The programmers of the clone shut down their site without challenge. Soon after that the developers regrouped to continue the work by the name of Stratagus.[67]

World of Warcraft Private Server Complications[edit]

On December 5, 2008, Blizzard issued a cease and desist letter to many administrators of high population World of Warcraft private servers (essentially slightly altered hosting servers of the actual World of Warcraft game, that players do not have to pay for). Blizzard used the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to influence many private servers to fully shut down and cease to exist.[68] In 2008 a private server by the name of ChaosCrusade was served with a DMCA notification.[69]

Founder Electronics infringement lawsuit[edit]

On August 14, 2007, Beijing University Founder Electronics Co., Ltd. sued Blizzard Entertainment Limited for copyright infringement claiming 100 million yuan in damages. The lawsuit alleged the Chinese edition of World of Warcraft reproduced a number of Chinese typefaces made by Founder Electronics without permission.[70]

MDY Industries, LLC v. Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.[edit]

Main article: Glider (bot)

On July 14, 2008, the United States District Court for the District of Arizona ruled on the case MDY Industries, LLC v. Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.. The Court found that MDY was liable for copyright infringement since users of its Glider bot program were breaking the End User License Agreement and Terms of Use for World of Warcraft. MDY Industries appealed the judgment of the district court, and a judgment was delivered by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on December 14, 2010, in which the summary judgment against MDY for contributory copyright infringement was reversed.[71][72] Nevertheless, they ruled that the bot violated the DMCA and the case was sent back to the district court for review in light of this decision.[73][74]

Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. v. Valve Corporation[edit]

Shortly after Valve Corporation filed its trademark for "Dota" to secure the franchising rights for Dota 2, DotA-Allstars, LLC, run by former contributors to the games's predecessor, Defense of the Ancients, filed an opposing trademark in August 2010.[75] DotA All-Stars, LLC was sold to Blizzard Entertainment in 2011. After the opposition was overruled in Valve's favor, Blizzard filed an opposition against Valve in November 2011, citing their license agreement with developers, as well as their ownership of DotA-Allstars, LLC.[76] Blizzard conceded their case in May 2012, however, giving Valve undisputed commercial rights to Dota, while Blizzard would rename their StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm mod "Blizzard All-Stars", which would become the stand-alone game, Heroes of the Storm.[77]

Related companies[edit]

Over the years, some former Blizzard employees have moved on and established gaming companies of their own:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 6 Richest People In The Gaming Industry
  2. ^ Fourth Quarter 2015 Results
  3. ^ a b Gamasutra Staff (February 9, 2012). "DICE 2012: Blizzard's Pearce on World Of Warcraft's launch hangover". Gamasutra. Retrieved January 23, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b M. Abraham (November 6, 2006). "UCLA Engineering Celebrates Accomplishments at Annual Awards Dinner". UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved September 22, 2007. 
  5. ^ Karmali, Luke (August 6, 2015). "Gamescom 2015: World of Warcraft: Legion announced". IGN. Retrieved August 6, 2015. 
  6. ^ Activision, Inc (July 10, 2008). "Vivendi and Activision complete transaction to create Activision Blizzard". Vivendi Universal. Retrieved May 19, 2015. 
  7. ^ Activision Blizzard Announces Transformative Purchase of Shares from Vivendi and New Capital Structure. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
  8. ^ "Blizzard Entertainment 10th Anniversary Celebration". Blizzard Entertainment. Archived from the original on January 26, 2002. Retrieved September 22, 2007. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f "Blizzard Timeline". Blizzard Entertainment. Archived from the original on February 15, 2001. 
  10. ^ "Ported by Blizzard Entertainment Inc.". Mobygames. 
  11. ^ Dean Takahashi: game-development Co-Founder Looks at Chaos in Early Stages and Future Challenges. In: Los Angeles Times, March 13, 1994. – Interview with Allen Adham.
  12. ^ Dean Takahashi: Briefcase: Technology. In: Los Angeles Times, May 24, 1994.
  13. ^ Morhaime, Mike (November 22, 2002). The Making of The Lost Vikings. Interview with Blizzard Insider. Blizzard Insider. Archived from the original (url) on February 11, 2003. Retrieved June 23, 2007. 
  14. ^ This excludes expansion packs and the cancelled Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans.
  15. ^ "Blizzard Entertainment announces World of Warcraft". Archived from the original on November 3, 2007. 
  16. ^ "World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade Shatters Day-1 Sales Record". Blizzard Entertainment. January 23, 2008. Archived from the original on March 21, 2008. 
  17. ^ a b "World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Shatters Day-1 Sales Record". Blizzard Entertainment. November 20, 2008. Retrieved November 20, 2008. 
  18. ^ Chris, Remo (August 21, 2009). "BlizzCon 09: Blizzard Officially Unveils WoW Expansion, Cataclysm". Retrieved August 21, 2009. 
  19. ^ John, Tracey (August 21, 2009). "Cataclysm Expansion Will Rock World of Warcraft, Blizzard Says". Wired. Retrieved August 21, 2009. 
  20. ^ "Blizzard Entertainment Begins Closed Beta Test for World of Warcraft®: Cataclysm™". 
  21. ^ "Number of World of Warcraft subscribers from 1st quarter 2005 to 3rd quarter 2014". Statista. Retrieved December 18, 2014. 
  22. ^ "World of Warcraft Hits 12 Million Subscribers". 
  23. ^ Ryan Fleming. "World of Warcraft hits the 12-million-subscribers mark". 
  24. ^ "MMOG Active Subscriptions 21.0", MMOGCHART.COM, June 29, 2006.
  25. ^ "GigaOM Top 10 Most Popular MMOs". 
  26. ^ Glenday, Craig (2009). Craig Glenday, ed. Guinness World Records 2009. GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS (paperback ed.). Random House, Inc. p. 241. ISBN 978-0-553-59256-6. Retrieved September 18, 2009. Most popular MMORPG game(sic) In terms of the number of online subscribers, World of Warcraft is the most popular Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG), with 10 million subscribers as of January 2008. 
  27. ^ Williams, Becky (August 24, 2009). "Video: Backstage at BlizzCon 2009:Thousands of World of Warcraft fans descend on southern California for Blizzard's epic gaming convention". The Daily Telegraph (UK). Retrieved September 18, 2009. Set in the fantasy world of Azeroth it currently holds the Guinness World Record for the most popular MMORPG, which probably accounts for why Blizzard is the most bankable games publisher in the world. 
  28. ^ Langshaw, Mark (June 6, 2009). "Guinness announces gaming world records". Digital Spy Limited. Retrieved September 18, 2009. Blizzard’s Mike Morhaime and Paul Sams were handed awards for World Of Warcraft and Starcraft, which won Most Popular MMORPG and Best Selling PC Strategy Game respectively. 
  29. ^ "Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition – Records – PC Gaming". Archived from the original on April 5, 2008. World of Warcraft is the most popular MMORPG in the world with nearly 12 million subscribers around the world. 
  30. ^ "MMOG Subscriptions Market Share April 2008"., Bruce Sterling Woodcock. April 1, 2008. Retrieved September 24, 2008. 
  31. ^ "City of Irvine, California - Comprehensive Annual Financial Report - For fiscal year ending June 30, 2014". Irvine, California. Retrieved February 28, 2015. 
  32. ^ a b c d "Company Profile". Blizzard Entertainment. Archived from the original on July 6, 2008. Retrieved July 7, 2008. Prior to the release of Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, Blizzard served as a third-party developer, creating entertainment software for various platforms, including DOS, Macintosh, Genesis, and Super NES. The company's best-known titles from this era include Rock 'n Roll Racing, The Lost Vikings, Blackthorne, and The Death and Return of Superman. 
  33. ^ "Blizzard North: Condor and Diablo". Blizzard Entertainment. Archived from the original on February 22, 2002. 
  34. ^ "Activision Blizzard Announces Better-Than-Expected Second Quarter 2015 Financial Results". 
  35. ^
  36. ^ a b c d "A Decade of Blizzard". IGN. February 1, 2001. Retrieved July 7, 2008. Commodore 64 Battle Chess, Windows Battle Chess, Amiga Battle Chess II, Amiga Lord of the Rings, and Windows Shanghai were some of our early projects. 
  37. ^ "Blizzard Entertainment – Press Release". May 9, 2006. Archived from the original on May 26, 2006. Retrieved August 31, 2006. 
  38. ^ Kollar, Philip (September 23, 2013). "Blizzard cancels its next-gen MMO Titan after seven years". Polygon. 
  39. ^ GamePro Staff (August 29, 2006). "GamePro Q&A: Blizzard's Jeff Kaplan on The Burning Crusade". GamePro. Archived from the original on January 14, 2009. Retrieved September 30, 2006. 
  40. ^ WoW -> Legal -> Terms of Use. (December 9, 2010). Retrieved July 8, 2011.
  41. ^[dead link]
  42. ^ Linux Users Banned From World of Warcraft? | Linuxlookup. (February 16, 2008). Retrieved July 8, 2011.
  43. ^ Blizzard Unbans Linux World of Warcraft Players | Linuxlookup. (August 3, 2008). Retrieved July 8, 2011.
  44. ^ Guttridge, Luke. (November 8, 2005) WoW's Warden stirs controversy – news – play. Retrieved July 8, 2011.
  45. ^ Definitions and Supporting Documents. Retrieved July 8, 2011.
  46. ^ Look! what is Blizzard doing on your pc? – MMOsite News Center. (November 27, 2006). Retrieved July 8, 2011.
  47. ^ World of Warcraft. World of Warcraft. Retrieved July 8, 2011.
  48. ^ " Update: Upcoming Changes to the Forums". Archived from the original on July 9, 2010. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  49. ^ "Official forum changes, real life names to be displayed". 
  50. ^ "Fans rage over Blizzard forum plans". 
  51. ^ Why Blizzard’s new forum plan is an epic fail. PC Gamer (July 7, 2010). Retrieved July 8, 2011.
  52. ^ a b c "Row over gamers' true identities". BBC News. July 7, 2010. 
  53. ^ Ben Kuchera. "Blizzard: post about StarCraft 2? Use your real name". 
  54. ^ "Blizzard's responses on the Real ID situation". 
  55. ^ "Blizzard's Real ID Removes Anonymity From Their Forums". 
  56. ^ "Blizzard forums to require real names". 
  57. ^ "You Want Your Real Name Publicly Associated With Your World Of Warcraft Account, Right?". 
  58. ^ [1] Archived February 3, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  59. ^ "Is Blizzard's Real ID Safe, Or A Playground For Sexual Deviants?". 
  60. ^ Geeking Out About… » 21st Century Digital REDACTED. (July 6, 2010). Retrieved July 8, 2011.
  61. ^ "Blizzard forces users to show real names". 
  62. ^ Holisky, Adam. "Blizzard's responses on the Real ID situation". Retrieved July 8, 2010. 
  63. ^ World of Warcraft – English (NA) Forums -> Regarding real names in forums. Retrieved July 8, 2011.
  64. ^ "Warcraft Gamers to get Real ID, Dong Ngo". 
  65. ^ Errata: Blizzard Entertainment. Retrieved July 8, 2011.
  66. ^ "The 10 best video games of 2010". CNN. December 29, 2010. 
  67. ^ Howard Wen, ''Stratagus: Open Source Strategy Games'' July 15, 2004. Retrieved July 8, 2011.
  68. ^ Blizzard legal targets private servers (Accessed October 12, 2009)
  69. ^ "ChaosCrusade DMCA Notice". New Enthusiast. December 5, 2008. Retrieved June 5, 2011. 
  70. ^ Founder prosecuting Blizzard online game World of Warcraft Tort Claiming 100 million yuan. (August 14, 2007). Retrieved July 8, 2011.
  71. ^ "MDY Industries, LLC v. Blizzard Entertainment, Inc., et al. - Filing: 920101214". 
  72. ^ "Opinions -". 
  73. ^ Corynne McSherry (December 14, 2010). "A Mixed Ninth Circuit Ruling in MDY v. Blizzard: WoW Buyers Are Not Owners – But Glider Users Are Not Copyright Infringers Legal Analysis". 
  74. ^ von Lohmann, Fred (September 25, 2009). "You Bought It, You Own It: MDY v. Blizzard Appealed". Electronic Frontier Foundation. Retrieved October 8, 2009. 
  75. ^ Augustine, Josh (August 17, 2010). "Riot Games’ dev counter-files "DotA" trademark". PC Gamer. Retrieved August 19, 2011. 
  76. ^ Plunkett, Luke (February 10, 2012). "Blizzard and Valve go to War Over DOTA Name". Kotaku. 
  77. ^ Reilly, Jim (May 11, 2012). "Valve, Blizzard Reach DOTA Trademark Agreement". Game Informer. Retrieved May 23, 2012. 
  78. ^ "About Flagship Studios". Archived from the original on December 12, 2007. 
  79. ^ ArenaNet. (December 6, 2006). Retrieved July 8, 2011.
  80. ^ "About Ready At Dawn Studios". Archived from the original on February 10, 2007. 
  81. ^ Red 5 Studios[dead link]
  82. ^ About Castaway Entertainment. (January 12, 2008). Retrieved July 8, 2011.
  83. ^ Click Entertainment. (April 27, 2001). Retrieved July 8, 2011.
  84. ^ Carbine Studios. Carbine Studios. Retrieved July 8, 2011.
  85. ^ "Austin GDC 2008 Speaker List". 2015. 
  86. ^ "Hyboreal Games Q&A – Shacknews – video games, PlayStation, Xbox 360 and Wii video game news, previews and download". July 2011. 
  87. ^ Sean Hollister (August 14, 2008). "Captaining The Lifeboat: Runic Games’ Max Schaefer and Travis Baldree". Gamecyte. Retrieved April 11, 2009. 

External links[edit]