Blizzard's Tenth Celebration Begins
9:34 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story
Blizzard Entertainment, creators of such brilliant time-sinks as Warcraft II, Diablo and Diablo II, have an anniversary coming up; their tenth, in fact. Apart from being one of the largest and most successful software houses in history, they are also composed of some of the most respected designers in the industry. And they also have one other critical skill: they know how to play to their obsessive fan base.
In this spirit they have published a guide to the primary movers and shakers behind the scenes at Blizzard, from the founding members to the originators of such blockbusters as Starcraft. Here's an excerpt about how the company was founded:
Blizzard today is a world-renowned game company. It has published four consecutive million-unit sellers, produced three Games of the Year, and gained the esteem of millions of gamers. But before Blizzard became one of the most successful computer game companies of the late Nineties, it was just an idea in the mind of Allen Adham. Even as early as his sophomore year in high school, Allen knew that he wanted to make games, and at an early age, he started laying the groundwork for the creation of the company that would one day become Blizzard. Any company this successful can be excused for throwing a party on their own behalf. If you want to learn more about Blizzard (and check out some quite funny details on and screen shots of their early work) then this bio guide is a good place to start; we're sure Blizzard has more up their sleeve for their actual anniversary date, February 8th.
Blizzard Entertainment 10th Anniversary Celebration
Back in the Eighties, Allen hung out with a group of friends that included Interplay founder Brian Fargo. He would playtest games for Fargo and eventually program his own games while studying at UCLA. Allen worked on Demon's Forge and designed and coded an adventure game called Gunslinger, selling a few thousand copies of each. Thanks to these early experiences, Allen gathered the necessary knowledge to start a real game company. He contacted college buddy Mike Morhaime and convinced Mike to take the leap into game design. They each contributed $10,000 to the startup, and on February 8, 1991, with their first employee, Frank Pearce, already on board, the three founded Silicon & Synapse, a name that Allen says "meant the melding of computers and the mind." Back then, all Allen and Mike wanted to do was just make games and have fun.
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