Blizzard Entertainment is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software. After establishing the Blizzard Entertainment label in 1994, the company quickly became one of the most popular and well-respected makers of computer games. By focusing on creating well-designed, highly enjoyable entertainment experiences, Blizzard Entertainment has maintained an unparalleled reputation for quality since its inception.
Blizzard Entertainment’s track record of back-to-back #1-selling games spans more than a decade, including its most recent releases, StarCraft® II: Heart of the Swarm™ and World of Warcraft®: Mists of Pandaria®. The company has also garnered broad critical acclaim, achieving multiple Game of the Year awards across each of its blockbuster franchises. In addition, Blizzard Entertainment’s online-game service, Battle.net®, is one of the largest in the world, with millions of active players.
The high-quality products based on Blizzard Entertainment’s game universes have also proven popular with gamers. These products include action figures, novels, comics, manga, board games, pen-and-paper role-playing games, apparel, and the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game, which is a bestseller in its category. Extending the reach of its games even further, Blizzard Entertainment is currently at work with Legendary Pictures, the studio behind the feature films The Dark Knight Rises, Inception, Watchmen, 300, and Superman Returns, on a live-action Warcraft® movie.
Blizzard Entertainment's most recent release in the Warcraft universe is World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, the fourth expansion to the company’s bestselling and award-winning subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game, World of Warcraft. Mists of Pandaria was launched around the world starting on September 25, 2012, and sold through approximately 2.7 million copies during the first week of its release.
World of Warcraft has achieved unprecedented popularity on a global scale, with millions of subscribers worldwide.
The previous World of Warcraft expansion, Cataclysm®, was released starting on December 7, 2010, and sold through more than 3.3 million copies in its first 24 hours of availability, making it the fastest-selling PC game of all time—a record it would hold until the release of Blizzard Entertainment’s Diablo III. Prior to Cataclysm, that record was previously held by World of Warcraft’s first two expansions, World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade® and World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King®, which sold approximately 2.4 million copies and over 2.8 million copies in their first 24 hours, respectively.
World of Warcraft initially launched on November 23, 2004 in North America, Australia, and New Zealand, with subsequent launches in South Korea, Europe, mainland China, Singapore, and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau in 2005, Malaysia in 2006, Thailand in 2007, Latin America and Russia in 2008, and Brazil in 2011. The game has achieved unprecedented popularity on a global scale, with millions of subscribers worldwide. It is available in eleven different languages based on the regions in which it is played, and has earned awards and praise from publications around the world.
Hearthstone™: Heroes of Warcraft™, Blizzard’s recently announced free-to-play strategy card game for PC and iPad®, is currently under development, with beta testing expected to begin soon. Deceptively simple in design but epically engaging, Hearthstone will be instantly accessible to players regardless of their familiarity with Warcraft or collectible card games.
Blizzard's original Warcraft game, Warcraft: Orcs & Humans™, was touted as one of the best strategy games of 1994, and the game’s epic sequel, 1995’s Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness™, won numerous awards, including the company’s first Game of the Year award. Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos®, released in July 2002, has likewise won several accolades and, like StarCraft, has become a staple of professional tournament gaming, along with its expansion, the award-winning Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne®, which was released in July 2003.
On March 12, 2013, Blizzard Entertainment released StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, the first expansion to the company’s blockbuster real-time strategy game StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. Heart of the Swarm features a brand-new campaign focused on the vengeful Queen of Blades as she struggles to reunite the fragmented zerg Swarm, as well as a vast number of updates and improvements to StarCraft II’s acclaimed and wildly popular competitive multiplayer experience.
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty launched on July 27, 2010, and sold through more than 1 million copies in its first 24 hours of availability and more than 3 million in its first month, making it the fastest-selling strategy game of all time. Alongside the launch of StarCraft II, Blizzard released a brand-new version of its acclaimed online gaming service, Battle.net, which has been redesigned from the ground up to be the premier online gaming destination for Blizzard gamers, with several enhancements and new features, such as voice communication, cloud file storage, leagues and ladders, achievements, stat-tracking, and more.
The original StarCraft, which Blizzard Entertainment released in March 1998, was the company's third #1 seller and was listed as the bestselling game of 1998 by PC Data. The game's expansion set, StarCraft: Brood War®, was named best expansion of 1998 and is still considered by many critics to be one of the best add-on products to date.
In South Korea, StarCraft's mass popularity played a major role in the birth of the professional-gaming and game-broadcasting phenomena.
The games in the StarCraft series are a long-running staple of professional tournament gaming. This is especially the case in South Korea, where the original game's mass popularity played a major role in the birth of the professional-gaming and game-broadcasting phenomena, as well as serving as one of the key drivers behind the growth of the PC-game-room business.
Diablo III was launched on May 15, 2012, and sold through more than 3.5 million copies in its first 24 hours of availability, setting a new all-time record for fastest-selling PC game. Together with the more than 1.2 million players who received Diablo III as part of signing up for the World of Warcraft Annual Pass promotion, more than 6.3 million players worldwide had a copy of Diablo III within its first week of release—representing the biggest PC-game launch in history. Blizzard recently announced that it is developing Diablo III for the Sony PlayStation® 3 and upcoming PlayStation® 4 computer entertainment systems.
The original Diablo, which shipped to stores in the last week of December 1996, debuted at #1 in the United States and was widely credited as having helped to revitalize the RPG genre. In 2000, Blizzard Entertainment launched the game’s sequel, Diablo II, which set the record for fastest-selling PC game ever at the time of its release. The company followed up in 2001 with the expansion, Diablo II: Lord of Destruction®, which sold more than a million copies in its first month and was one of the biggest sellers of 2001, in addition to receiving widespread critical acclaim.
Prior to the release of Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, Blizzard Entertainment served as a third-party developer, creating entertainment software for various platforms, including MS-DOS, Macintosh, Sega Genesis, and Super NES. The company’s best-known titles from this era include Rock ‘n Roll Racing®, The Lost Vikings®, and Blackthorne®.
Each member of the Blizzard Entertainment staff is a true game enthusiast, giving the company invaluable insight into creating products for gamers.
Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., Blizzard Entertainment, a division of Activision Blizzard, was founded in 1991 under the name Silicon & Synapse by Allen Adham, president & CEO Michael Morhaime, and chief development officer Frank Pearce.