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Blizzard Entertainment is celebrating 25 years as one of the most important players in the history of video games, with titles that influenced entire generations and mark the path it has followed industry to this day.
the year was 1991 when three ambitious young people fresh out of the University of California decided to create their own video game company. His goal was to make great things and have fun along the way. Today, twenty five years later, this small company is now Blizzard Entertainment, one of the companies most successful, popular and influential games in history of video games with millions of players playing their games every day around the world .
Blizzard is a peculiar company went from being a group of young people to an empire that has dictated the tempo of the game industry. It is a story of how a group of friends, tightly bound, overcame all odds to become the kings of the game thanks to strict quality standards.
Blizzard is not a business dominated by leaves calculation, his name is the most important and have not hesitated over these 25 years to rebuild from scratch or cancel projects when they were aware that it was not an outstanding title. It is not a company that has brought to market hundreds of games, but all have been a great influence and have sold millions of copies while many projects that other companies had submitted and published were canceled.
The beginnings they were very humble to Silicon & Synapse – the company founded by Michael Morhaime, Allen Adham and Frank Pearce who later became Blizzard Entertainment – and his first works were portability of games for other game studios until 1993, when they managed to develop ‘ Rock N ‘Roll Racing “and” Lost Vikings’ two games that fans of retro video games have in high regard.
In 1994 , Silicon & Synapse was purchased by the distributor Davidson & Associates for $ 6.75 million and the company was renamed to Chaos Studios, but changed the name to Blizzard Entertainment because there was already another company called Chaos. With his first big hit, ‘Warcraft: Orcs and Humans’, would begin the immense and rich heritage of the company in the gaming industry and the lives of millions of people
Warcraft and influence. Blizzard RTS
Allen Adham became the leader and the group responsible for marketing because of their innate abilities. Programmers had much talent and was eager players who did not like the current adventure games that looked like a movie and did not require much interaction from the player. The equipment was good to work under pressure and completing projects in a short time, but had no luck with the publishers and had a clear idea what to do beyond games porting to other systems.
But there came the ‘Dune II’ and the team was in love with the title. It was the first game of strategy in real time, something incredible at that time because the genre was limited to turn-based combat, due to the limitation of computational machines. The game was fast, requiring the player were attentive, constantly interacting with orders. Many of its elements would be key in the development of more popular games like Warcraft or Starcraft.
Resource management, construction of buildings, training troops and attacks. Dune II had it all. Except for one thing: it was a game that had no multiplayer. Blizzard programmers Dune II played during breaks and after work, but dreamed of creating something but for two players; They thought it would be amazing so got down to work.
started without a serious plan design or evaluation of technical requirements. Nothing methodology, but the team was moving forward and managed to create a game of real-time strategy set in a fantasy world where humans fought a bitter and lasting war against the orcs. At that time the company had only 25 employees, but the game was a success because it was faster than Dune II, its atmosphere was fantastic and had multiplayer via LAN and modem. This advance was introduced by id Software, with its revolutionary ‘Wolfstein’ and ‘Doom’. Would be the birth of online gambling and the growth of eSports in the nineties
When Warcraft was released in 1994 there were only three games RTS on the shelves of video game stores. Years later clones were flooded and mediocre games employing the concepts of Dune II and Warcraft without any added incentive and a disastrous narrative rhythm. With the success of Warcraft, Blizzard could begin to devote more resources to their projects, which would culminate with the presentation of “Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness’: the game’s most important strategy history, its influence on later titles – and now more popular -. such as StarCraft
Warcraft II provided a genuine online game and the fans began creating websites dedicated and born the first rankings. College of Middle America remained until late in the morning playing Warcraft II through its modem connections. The online game was great then and it was not uncommon phones were unplugged so that your not interrupt their games. It was the beginning of the golden age of online gaming with Quake
The game final strategy. Starcraft
Blizzard went from being a small little-known study taking the genre strategy to the masses. They were not only games that attracted most gamers, made any casual gamer become regular gender and invest many hours of their days in those fantasy worlds in thrilling battles.
And under that situation would his next title. It was ‘Warcraft III’, was something different. Instead of giving the fans what they expected, they decided to explore a different atmosphere to steer clear of the medieval fantasy of his previous titles to focus on science fiction. He was born the title of ultimate real strategy until today, were the first ideas of ‘StarCraft’.
They decided to use the engine of his previous work in WarCraft saga and employ other art, being presented at E3 1996. But the fans did not impress them, recognizes the CEO and founder of Blizzard, Mike Morhaime:
“We teach the game and everyone thought it was a simple WarCraft orcs in space . it was not the reaction we were looking for “
with the damaged ego, Blizzard got down to business: the game needed many hours of work, profound improvements and rethink how they could develop a game RTS set in space that was really amazing. A modification of Warcraft was not going to be. The project was reviewed and the focus shifted to the creation of three races or factions, be in the future the most important change from Warcraft, which was based on two rival camps located as if it were a chess.
StarCraft allow players to develop very different strategies on the basis of each species, and require thinking and develop different strategies to fight the other two species.
in early 1997, the new version of StarCraft was released, and received a more positive response. However, the game was still affected by technical difficulties, so it is completely redesigned engine Warcraft II to two months to ensure that many of the features desired by designers such as drive capacities burrowing and layer, they could be implemented. The game was improved, while fans waited irascible delay after delay, including pre-rendered sprites and backgrounds, built with 3D Studio Max. The isometric view was also adopted by the game, in contrast to the 2D perspective Warcraft II. The game was a pioneer in using high quality music and speech recorded voices of professional actors.
StarCraft would come to stores in 1998 with an unprecedented commercial success. It was the best selling game of the year with a million and a half copies, reaching nearly 10 million over the next decade with 4.5 million of them in South Korea. The online game Blizzard, Battle.net, grew by 800%, and despite the nearly 20 years since its release, is still today a very popular game.
Blizzard became massive
in 1999, Blizzard Entertainment company was already a cult: players did not play Starcraft, loved him; They not played Diablo, which lived not played Warcraft II, competing day and night. It was already the most important in the genre of strategy games in real time while id Software did the same with games FPS company. It was a time of change and great games.
what no one knew is that behind closed doors on campus Blizzard were developing something entirely new. There was another Diablo or other Starcraft. Was the World of Warcraft, a game that marked a generation and would engage millions of players regardless of gender, sex, race or age.
Five years of development and the most ambitious project. In World of Warcraft he embodies a hero in a fantasy world divided into two factions and races. Was something entirely new: a 3D game in third person RPG elements in an endless game, in a changing world 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and the things to do is never ended.
World of Warcraft became a popular phenomenon, every major newspaper in the United States dedicated pieces to the game and many comedians and creative they used in their monologues and skits for their ability to engage and catch the player in this endless world of fantasy.
the adjusted difficulty curve, its atmosphere and its social aspect caused millions of people quedasen pledged to video games forever thanks to world of Warcraft. The game was the biggest success of the company, but also its greatest challenge. A challenge to the character of the team, their culture; go from being a small group of talented programmers a big corporation is not an easy task.
The organization grew very fast, teams were formed within the company and, overnight, one small study carrying games it became one of the company’s largest and most influential video games in existence.
Present and future
World of Warcraft continues to enjoy a lot of subscribers and updates with additional content, but has lost relevance against the eSports free-to-play as League of Legends because of the growth of industry and the interests of the players competitive multiplayer games for you to enjoy their friends.
This relative lack of interest also happens to Starcraft II, the successor to the best real-time strategy game of all time, who still enjoys numerous tournaments but which is at the rear of team play titles like Counter-Strike and Dota 2. However Blizzard continues to do what he knows best: designing great games exquisite setting and difficulty curves brilliantly devised to allow the title to be very accessible and, in turn, very difficult to master.
the best example is Hearthstone, the last bomb of the company. It has a very simple approach where a player faces another through a deck of cards, such as the popular board game ‘Magic The Gathering’. The game is free and revenues are generated through micropayments within the own game that serve to get faster cards, envelopes through random cards.
A successful formula that has become one of the eSports the currently played by casual and professional. Variety, updates and changes metagame – strategies and ways to play competitively – have made the title is one of the most popular Twitch.tv
the new commitment of the company is Overwatch, the first promising first-person shooter from the company. Its setting is based on a fictitious reality, a world plunged into anarchy. To end this situation, an international elite force called Overwatch is founded. This force is comprised of heroes from all countries whose hegemony is soon threatened, and results in the destruction of the organization. But the world still needs heroes.
The game promises freshness adding touches the hackneyed role FPS genre with the atmosphere and care that maybe, just Blizzard can get.
Blizzard has been one of the main axes of the motor industry of video games in the last 25 years and although we do not know what we’re in store for the industry in the future, if we can guess that Blizzard will set the standards for the next 25 years.
February 8, 2016
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