Updated on 25 May 2020
History of the company
Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. is among of the most prolific and resilient developers in the gaming industry. Its history begins in February 1991 when Michael Morhaime along with Allen Adham and Frank Pearce laid the foundation of the company, which was then called Silicon & Synapse.
This name would be changed to Chaos Studios in 1993, because Adham was displeased with people associating its meaning with breast implants rather than the chemical element that made computer chips possible. As the story goes, Allen Adham took up a dictionary and started jotting down words of interest, then cleared them with the legal team for potential copyright issues. ‘Blizzard’ was the first one that really stuck, and Chaos Studios rebranded themselves by May 1994.
Timeline of major game releases
Throughout their journey, Blizzard Entertainment has known both tremendous, world-changing achievements, controversies and borderline financial ruin, but has always managed to come up on top. In 2010, they reached a major milestone in the online gaming industry with 12 million active monthly subscription to their highly popular MMORPG, World of Warcraft. However, they were on a descending path and that number plummeted to 6.8 million by 2014. Nonetheless, they still hold a Guinness World Record of popularity among MMORPGS, according to the number of subscribers.
Beloved titles like Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo have forged enduring franchises that aged well and are still loads of fun to play today. The launch of Overwatch – Blizzard’s 4th ranking primary intellectual property – in 2016 was also a major success for the developer and became the highest selling game for PC on the same year. Genre wise, they continue to cater to a diverse crowd, regularly updating and maintaining free-to-play card battle game Hearthstone and the MOBA Heroes of the Storm, one of DOTA 2’s main competitors.
To celebrate their achievements, we have created the Blizzard Games chronology using Office Timeline, our extremely versatile and easy to use PowerPoint add-in. Splitting the major release milestones according to their franchise was made possible by swimlanes, a feature available in the Pro Edition but also in the free version (with limitations). You can download the timeline free of charge, as either a fully customizable PowerPoint file or a static image complete with the Blizzard fonts. Happy gaming!