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Blizzard Entertainment is a video game development and publishing company based in Irvine, California. The company is known for creating several notable game franchises, including Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo.
In February 1991, the company Silicon & Synapse was created by founders Michael Morhaime, Allen Adham and Frank Pearce, which initially focused on producing ports of existing games for other systems. In 1994, the company changed its name to Blizzard Entertainment after being acquired by the software distributor Davidson & Associates for $6.75 million.
On February 12th, 2019, Variety reported that Activision Blizzard was laying off "approximately 775 people -- 8% of its 9,600 person staff." That day, CNET published an article noting that the company cut the jobs shortly after posting the "best financial results in the company's history." Meanwhile, Kotaku editor Jason Schrier tweeted that "Blizzard employees are crying and hugging in the parking lot" (shown below).
The following day, Redditor StaurtGT submitted a post titled "Activision-Blizzard's Management = SCUM" to /r/gaming, along with an image of the CEO Bobby Kotick captioned with a note about the record financial results (shown below). Within 24 hours, the post gained over 96,600 points (69% upvoted) and 4,700 comments.
In 1994, Blizzard developed the real-time strategy game Warcraft: Orcs & Humans. The game was followed by Warcraft II in 1995, Warcraft III in 2002 and the MMORPG World of Warcraft in 2004.
In 2014, Blizzard released the free to play digital collectible card game (CCG) Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, that is loosely set in the Warcraft universe.
In 1997, Blizzard released the fantasy action role-playing game Diablo. Set in the fictional Kingdom of Khanduras, the player assumes the role of a lone warrior on a mission to battle and eliminate a demon named Diablo. Two sequels for the game have since been released, including Diablo II in 2000 and Diablo III in 2012.
In 1998, Blizzard released the real-time strategy game StarCraft is a real-time strategy (RTS) game that revolves around three warring races: Terrans, the political castoffs and malcontents of humanity; Zerg, beast-like and savage creatures hailing from the planet Char; and the Protoss, the highly advanced bipedal aliens from the planet Aiur. The game’s canonical settings take place in the distant future in a sector of the Galaxy known as the Koprulu Sector, where each player must build offensive and defensive units to fight for the control of natural resources.
In 2005, Blizzard held the first BlizzCon video game convention to promote the company's various franchises. The convention is held each year at the Anaheim Convention Center in California.
2010: Red Shirt Guy
On October 23rd, 2010, a video was uploaded to YouTube showing footage from a Q&A session from that week’s BlizzCon. During the session a red-shirted teenage boy managed to stump Blizzard designer Alex Afrasiabi and loremaster Chris Metzen with a rather obscure question concerning a seemingly minor character in the WoW universe. The teenager was subsequently nicknamed "Red Shirt Guy" by fans online.
On November 6th, 2015, Blizzard released the official trailer for the upcoming film Warcraft at Blizzcon (shown below, left). Additionally, a cinematic for the upcoming World of Warcraft: Legion expansion was revealed (shown below, right). Additionally, the new Hearthstone adventure League of Explorers was announced and the upcoming first person shooter Overwatch was set for released in Q2 2016.