Blizzard Timeline

Our anniversary website wouldn't be complete without an in-depth chronicle of Blizzard Entertainment’s long history. Twenty years is a long time, and much has happened since the company first opened its doors. We invite you to read on and join us on a stroll down memory lane.

Silicon & Synapse

1991 Silicon & Synapse, founded this year by Allen Adham, Frank Pearce, and Mike Morhaime, produces RPM Racing, the company's first game.

Software Developer of the Year

1993 The Lost Vikings and Rock N' Roll Racing are released. The company is awarded "Best Software Developer of the Year" by VideoGames Magazine.

Chaos Studios

December 1993 The company changes its name from Silicon & Synapse to Chaos Studios. The year ends with eleven projects shipped. The company has moved into four different offices, and the staff has grown to fifteen people.

Davidson & Associates

April 1994 Davidson & Associates acquires Chaos Studios.

Blizzard Entertainment

May 1994 The company changes its name from Chaos Studios to Blizzard Entertainment.

Orcs & Humans

November 1994 Warcraft: Orcs & Humans is the first game released under the Blizzard Entertainment label.

Blackthorne

December 1994 Blackthorne is released.

Justice League Task Force

March 1995 Justice League Task Force is released for Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo.

The Death & Return of Superman

June 1995 The Death and Return of Superman is released.

New Campus in Irvine

August 1995 The company moves from a 3,600 sq. ft. office in Costa Mesa to a 14,000 sq. ft. office in Irvine, California.

Blizzard on the web

October 1995 Blizzard.com launches. The company finally has an official home on this newfangled "Internet" thing.

Tides of Darkness

December 1995 Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness is released. Oil prices skyrocket across Azeroth.

Beyond the Dark Portal

May 1996 Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal is released. Real estate plummets in Outland.

CUC International, Inc.

July 1996 Davidson & Associates is acquired by CUC International, Inc.

Warcraft II sells 1.2 million

September 1996 Warcraft II sells 1.2 million copies, ending 1996 as the #1-selling PC title.

Warcraft: Battle Chest

November 1996 Warcraft: Battle Chest is released.

Diablo & Battle.net

December 1996 Diablo is released and debuts as the #1-selling PC title. Click click click click click click click.

The Battle.net service launches along with Diablo, making it easier than ever for players to play together online.

Battle.net month one

January 1997 Battle.net surpasses 150,000 players and 1.5 million games in its first month of operation.

Cendant

December 1997 CUC International and HFS Incorporated join together to form Cendant.

1.5 million on Battle.net

February 1998 Battle.net hits 1.5 million users.

StarCraft (PC) & Diablo (PSone)

March 1998 StarCraft is released.

The PlayStation version of Diablo is released.

StarCraft sales

June 1998 StarCraft sells 3 million copies in 3 months.

Brood War

December 1998 StarCraft: Brood War is released and sells over 1.5 million copies, becoming the #1-selling PC game.

Cendant sells Blizzard and Sierra On-Line to Havas, which is acquired by Vivendi and becomes part of Vivendi Games.

Battle.net hits 4 million unique users by the end of 1998.

StarCraft in space

May 1999 A copy of StarCraft is taken into space on the shuttle Discovery during the first docking mission for the International Space Station.

131 Theory

July 1999 The company moves offices to 131 Theory, a new 50,000 sq. ft. building.

StarCraft in South Korea

October 1999 The company sells more than 1 million copies of StarCraft and StarCraft: Brood War in South Korea, becoming the country's most popular game ever.

Diablo II

June 2000 Diablo II is released. It sells 1 million copies in 3 weeks, making it the fastest-selling computer game in history.

Diablo II cinematics are submitted for an Academy Award.

StarCraft 64 for Nintendo 64 is released.

Vivendi Universal

December 2000 Vivendi acquires Universal Studios, and Blizzard Entertainment becomes part of Vivendi Universal.

Lord of Destruction

June 2001 Diablo II: Lord of Destruction is released. Left mouse buttons the world over cower in fear.

Warcraft III

July 2002 Warcraft III is released and becomes the latest fastest-selling PC game in history.

Games for GBA

March 2003 The Game Boy Advance versions of The Lost Vikings, Rock N' Roll Racing, and Blackthorne are released.

The Frozen Throne

July 2003 Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne is released and goes on to sell 3.5 million copies, becoming the company's eighth #1-selling game.

First Worldwide Invitational

January 2004 Blizzard hosts its first Worldwide Invitational event, in South Korea.

Offices in Europe & Korea

February 2004 Blizzard opens offices in Europe and Korea.

World of Warcraft

November 2004 World of Warcraft is released and breaks all previous sales records on its first day of release in North America, Australia, and New Zealand, becoming the company's ninth #1-selling game.

World of Warcraft in South Korea

January 2005 World of Warcraft is released in South Korea.

World of Warcraft in Europe

February 2005 World of Warcraft is released in Europe.

World of Warcraft in China

June 2005 World of Warcraft launches in China.

Over 4 million in WoW

August 2005 World of Warcraft surpasses 4 million players.

First BlizzCon

October 2005 The company hosts its first BlizzCon, in Anaheim, California.

World of Warcraft in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau

November 2005 World of Warcraft launches in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau.

During "College Week" World of Warcraft is featured in a question on Jeopardy

5 million World of Warcraft subscribers

December 2005 World of Warcraft hits 5 million subscribers.

Second Worldwide Invitational

February 2006 The company hosts its second Worldwide Invitational, in South Korea.

WoW Trading Card Game & South Park episode

October 2006 The World of Warcraft Trading Card Game launches. Comedy Central's South Park airs "Make Love, Not Warcraft," an episode about World of Warcraft.

The Burning Crusade

January 2007 World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade is released. Selling nearly 2.4 million copies in the first 24 hours, it becomes the fastest-selling PC game ever.

World of Warcraft hits 8.5 million

March 2007 World of Warcraft hits 8.5 million subscribers.

StarCraft 2 announced

May 2007 The company hosts its third Worldwide Invitational, in South Korea; StarCraft 2 is announced.

Second BlizzCon

August 2007 The company hosts its second BlizzCon, in Anaheim, California.

Campus move

December 2007 The company moves offices to the new "campus" location, with three buildings and a gated security entry.

World of Warcraft hits 10 million subscribers

January 2008 World of Warcraft hits 10 million subscribers.

Fourth Worldwide Invitational

June 2008 The company hosts its fourth Worldwide Invitational, in Paris, France.

Activision Blizzard

July 2008 World of Warcraft launches in Latin America.

Vivendi and Activision complete their acquisition transaction, forming Activision Blizzard.

World of Warcraft in Russia

August 2008 World of Warcraft launches in Russia.

BlizzCon tickets go on sale. They sell out in less than 30 minutes, surpassing all previous BlizzCon ticket sale times.

Blizzard music on iTunes

September 2008 Blizzard game music is now available on iTunes.

Third BlizzCon

October 2008 The company hosts its third BlizzCon, in Anaheim, California. More than 15,000 fans get a sneak preview of Wrath of the Lich King, StarCraft II, and Diablo III, featuring the recently announced wizard class.

Wrath of the Lich King

November 2008 World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King is released. The game sells more than 2.8 million copies in the first 24 hours, making it the fastest-selling PC game of all time. World of Warcraft hits 11 million subscribers worldwide.

Fourth BlizzCon

August 2009 The company hosts its fourth BlizzCon, in Anaheim, California. Thousands of fans get a sneak preview of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, StarCraft II, and Diablo III, featuring the recently announced monk class.

StarCraft II

July 2010 StarCraft II releases with thousands of fans attending midnight sales. The next generation of Battle.net is unveiled.

Battle.net 2.0

August 2010 Battle.net becomes self-aware and begins monitoring pro players from across the world to learn their elite strategies. Surely nothing bad could come of this.

Fifth BlizzCon

October 2010 The company hosts its fifth BlizzCon, in Anaheim, California. Tenacious D rock the closing ceremonies, and a red-shirted fan makes Warcraft history. Literally.

Cataclysm

December 2010 World of Warcraft: Cataclysm releases. The game sells more than 3.3 million copies within 24 hours of release, making it the fastest-selling PC game of all time and breaking the previous record held by World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King.

Sixth BlizzCon

October 2011 The company hosts its sixth BlizzCon at Anaheim Convention Center. Players get a first look at the next World of Warcraft expansion, Mists of Pandaria, as well as Diablo III, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, and Blizzard All Stars.

Diablo III

May 2012 Diablo III is released and sells more than 3.5 million copies within 24 hours, beating the record held by World of Warcraft: Cataclysm to become the fastest-selling PC game to date.

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria

September 2012 World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria releases. The game sold through approximately 2.7 million copies during the first week of its release.

Battle.net World Championship

November 2012 The epic conclusion to months of intense competition plays out at the Battle.net® World Championship, where the world’s top 32 StarCraft® II players and top 10 World of Warcraft® Arena teams go head-to-head for the title of world champion.

StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm

March 2013 StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm releases. More than 1.1 million viewers tuned into the company's 21-hour, global broadcast of launch events and community celebrations around the world, with peak concurrent viewership reaching over 125,000, as reported by Twitch. As of the end of its first two days of sales, Heart of the Swarm sold through approximately 1.1 million copies worldwide, including both retail and digital sales.

Diablo III: Console

September 2013 Blizzard returns to console development by releasing Diablo III for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation® 3 systems. The revised loot system, difficulty settings, and other updates are well-received by gaming press and players.

Seventh BlizzCon

November 2013 BlizzCon 2013 overtakes Anaheim with a storm of epic proportions. The fifth World of Warcraft expansion, Warlords of Draenor, is unveiled alongside a fresh look at Heroes of the Storm, while competitors battle it out in the World of Warcraft Arena tournament and StarCraft II WCS Global Finals.

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

March 2014 Hearthstone™: Heroes of Warcraft™, Blizzard’s free-to-play digital strategy card game, is released on several platforms. Deceptively simple but epically engaging, Hearthstone is designed to be instantly accessible to players regardless of their familiarity with Warcraft or collectible card games.

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls

March 2014 Diablo III's Reaper of Souls expansion—is released, selling over 2.7 million copies in the first week of its availability.

Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition

August 2014 Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - Ultimate Evil Edition is released. Legions of console players quickly discovered Ultimate Evil Edition makes it easy to experience Diablo in the best possible way: with your friends. The Ultimate Evil Edition contains both Diablo III and the Reaper of Souls expansion set, together in one definitive volume for the PlayStation®4, PlayStation®3, and Xbox One™, Xbox 360®.