The History of Blizzard Entertainment

CVG has kicked up a brief history of Blizzard Entertainment, though the article's primary focus is on the Warcraft franchise and its migration into MMO territory. A sampling:
Three years after Blizzard was founded, Shane Dabiri - now the lead producer on the next Blizzard MMO - stood at a 10ft by 10ft booth on the floor of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. Twiddling his thumbs, he smiled and demonstrated the first Warcraft game to a group of around 30 people.

"Back then I was one of our first beta testers for Warcraft. I did more supporting of the business than anything related to the games." Dabiri's humble beginnings as an IT guy, beta tester and general computer handyman failed to tell of both him, and his company's, future successes.

Seven years later, Blizzard announced World of Warcraft to huge fanfare, and a big departure from their roots. "Up to that point we had been, for the most part, creators of games with multiplayer components to them. We always focused on not just the single-player component, but how we could get three people together to play an RTS, or a game like Diablo." He admits, though, that the inspiration wasn't totally from within. "Back then, Ultima Online and EverQuest started to become very popular."

"The MMO market was small, but a few of the guys in the office started playing. We saw the possibilities and we thought 'You know, in the future we have to do something like this.' I mean, with all of the stuff we were doing with Battle.Net, it made total sense to go in that direction - that, and a lot of us had been playing EverQuest."