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Blizzard Timeline

1991
Condensed form: Silicon & Synapse is founded and develops RPM Racing

  • Silicon & Synapse, Inc. is formed with president Allen Adham, vice president Mike Morhaime, and programmer Frank Pearce.

  • Silicon & Synapse begin development on Rock 'n Roll Racing and Lost Vikings.

  • Silicon & Synapse finishes work on RPM Racing, the first American-developed game for the Super Nintendo. The game is published by Interplay.

1992
Condensed form: Silicon & Synapse convert a string a games to different platforms

  • Silicon & Synapse develops Amiga Lord of the Rings, Amiga Battlechess II, Amiga Castles, Windows Battlechess, Amiga Microleague Baseball, Macintosh Lexicross and Macintosh Dvorak on Typing.

1993
Condensed form: Silicon & Synapse releases Lost Vikings and Rock 'n Roll Racing; wins awards; changes name

  • Silicon & Synapse finishes development on The Lost Vikings for Super NES, Genesis, and the PC. Interplay publishes the game.

  • Nintendo publishes the Super NES version in Europe.

  • Silicon & Synapse finishes development of Rock 'n Rolling Racing for the Super NES and Genesis. The game is published by Interplay.

  • Silicon & Synapse develops Shanghai II: Dragons Eye for Activision.

  • Videogames Magazine selects Silicon & Synapse as Best Software Developer.

  • Rock 'n Rolling Racing is selected Best Racing Game by Die Hard Game Fan.

  • Silicon & Synapse changes its name to Chaos Studios.

1994
Condensed form: Chaos Studios is bought; Warcraft ships; another name change, this time to Blizzard

  • Davidson & Associates, Inc. acquires Chaos Studios. Chaos Studios has 15 programmers, designers, artists and a musician at the time.

  • Chaos Studios officially changes its name to Blizzard Entertainment.

  • Blizzard develops Death and Return of Superman for Super NES and Genesis. The game is published by Sunsoft.

  • Blizzard also develops Blackthorne for Super NES and the PC, and is published by Interplay.

  • Blizzard releases Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, the company's first original PC-only game. It is also the first title published under the Blizzard label.

1995
Condensed form: Warcraft II ships

  • Blizzard signs on to publish Diablo.

  • Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness releases. Within four months, it sells 500,000 copies worldwide.

1996
Condensed form: Blizzard wins awards; Warcraft II: Dark Portal ships; Diablo ships

  • Warcraft II is named Game of the Year and Multiplayer Game of the Year by PC Gamer Magazine. Warcraft II is named Best Online Game by C|Net.

  • Blizzard acquires Condor, Inc., located in Redwood City, California. Condor changes its name to Blizzard North.

  • The expansion pack to Warcraft II, Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal, releases.

  • Worldwide, Warcraft II becomes the number-one selling entertainment title for 1996.

  • Diablo ships.

1997
Condensed form: Diablo and battle.net succeed; Diablo II is announced

  • Diablo releases and debuts at number-one according to PC Data. Blizzard's new on-line game service Battle.net launches along with Diablo.

  • Diablo is named Game of the Year by Computer Gaming World. Diablo passes more than 750,000 sold worldwide.

  • Battle.net passes 700,000 users and 13 million games played on-line. Diablo is selected Game of the Year by Computer Game Entertainment.

1998
Condensed form: Starcraft ships; Starcraft: Brood War ships, battle.net prospers

  • Starcraft releases, becoming Blizzard's biggest launch of a game ever with more than 1 million copies shipped.

  • Allen Adham assumes the position of Chairman, and Michael Morhaime takes on the role of President.

  • Starcraft is named Computer Entertainment Title of the Year and Real-time Strategy Game of the Year by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences.

  • Starcraft sells one million copies in just three months.

  • Warcraft II sells more than 2.5 million copies since releasing in December 1995.

  • Battle.net has more than 4 million unique users, 1.3 million of which are active users who have used the service within the past 90 days.

  • Starcraft: Brood War, the official expansion to Starcraft, ships. Starcraft passes 1.5 million copies sold worldwide and is named the biggest selling computer game of 1998 according to PC Data.

1999
Condensed form: Starcraft storms Korea; Warcraft III is announced; Blizzard moves

  • Blizzard kicks off its first major Battle.net tournament with more than $20,000 in cash and prizes. Battle.net numbers surge to record highs with 2.1 million active users and millions of unique users. Blizzard employs about 130 developers and support technicians.

  • Battle.net exceeds 4.5 million active unique users.

  • Blizzard Entertainment sells more than 1 million copies of StarCraft and its expansion set in Korea, making it that country's biggest game ever. Korea becomes Blizzard's biggest international market for StarCraft.

2000
Condensed form: Diablo II ships

  • Blizzard Entertainment reaches more than 150 employees.

  • Blizzard Entertainment ships Diablo II as the biggest launch of a PC title ever with more than 2 million copies sold-in at retail on day one.

  • New Battle.net client-server network launches with the release of Diablo II. Starcraft64 for Nintendo 64 ships as a co-branded Blizzard and Nintendo product.

  • Blizzard Entertainment sells through more than 1 million copies of Diablo II its first 18 days in stores. Diablo II becomes the fastest selling PC game ever

  • Battle.net growth continues with more than 7.5 million active unique users. Peak concurrent usage is more than 120,000 users with a daily average of concurrent 70,000 users.

  • Worldwide, Diablo II sells more than 2.5 million copies. Battle.net reaches 8.75 million active users with more than 1 million games per day. Blizzard reaches 180 employees.

  • Blizzard's parent company, Vivendi, acquires Universal, and Blizzard becomes part of Vivendi Universal Interactive.

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