Monday, March 7, 2011

Blizzard is 20 years old



Blizzard, the folks behind the beloved StarCraft, WarCraft and Diablo franchises, has just turned 20 years old. As a testament, perhaps, to its age and influence on the PC gaming landscape, the entire industry has been reflecting on the immense impact this studio has had on video gaming.

THANK YOU

Two of the company’s co-founders, Frank Pearce and Michael Morhaime, showed their gratitudeby recording a video clip they sent out to fans. In it, Morhaime says: ‘When we first started the company in 1991 there were just three of us and we really just wanted to use this opportunity to thank you for all these years of support, because without you we wouldn’t be able to do what we do.’ Pearce would later add the community’s support ‘humbled’ Blizzard, while saying he loved that they shared the ‘intense passion for gaming’ Blizzard has.

HUMBLE BEGINNINGS

The company started out being called Silicon & Synapse, releasing Battle Chest, Lost Vikings and Rock n’ Roll Racing in between 1992 and 1993. It wasn’t until 1994 the company changed its name to what we know them by now, and really began leaving a mark on PC gaming and later MMO gaming, through the first release of WarCraft. 1997 brought Diablo and 1998 brought StarCraft. Slowly the young company built a loyal following, impacting PC gaming with each subsequent release.

NOT SO HUMBLE NOW, ARE WE?

The company is nowhere near as small as it once was. With its World of WarCraft franchise dominating MMO gaming and PC gaming in general, and being central to all of Activision Blizzard’s operations, it’s surprising the developer has been able to maintain the values that made them so popular with PC gamers all those years back.

FOREVER ETCHED IN HISTORY

Few companies can say they have had an ever-lasting impact on video gaming. Fewer still can claim they have had an ever-lasting impact on popular culture. Blizzard, thus, is a unique case of a company that can claim both, with its World of WarCraft franchise in particular, having a major impact. Hey, you don’t get a whole South Park episode dedicated to your franchise if it isn’t a big deal, and that’s the truth.

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