|Products||Justice League Task Force , Diablo , Diablo II , Diablo II: Lord of Destruction|
Blizzard North was the Bay Area division of Blizzard Entertainment, known for its Diablo series. The studio was originally based in Redwood City, California, before moving a short distance away to San Mateo, with Blizzard proper being based in Irvine, southern California.
The San Francisco Bay Area is a populous region surrounding the San Francisco, San Pablo and Suisun Bay estuaries in the northern part of the U.S. state of California. Although the exact boundaries of the region vary depending on the source, the Bay Area is defined by the Association of Bay Area Governments to include the nine counties that border the aforementioned estuaries: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, Sonoma, and San Francisco. Other sources may exclude parts of or even entire counties, or expand the definition to include neighboring counties that don't border the bay such as San Benito, San Joaquin, and Santa Cruz.
Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. is an American video game developer and publisher based in Irvine, California, and is a subsidiary of Activision Blizzard. The company was founded on February 8, 1991, under the name Silicon & Synapse, Inc. by three graduates of the University of California, Los Angeles: Michael Morhaime, Frank Pearce and Allen Adham. The company originally concentrated on the creation of game ports for other studios' games before beginning development of their own software in 1993 with games like Rock n' Roll Racing and The Lost Vikings. In 1994 the company became Chaos Studios, Inc., then Blizzard Entertainment after being acquired by distributor Davidson & Associates.
Diablo is an action role-playing hack and slash dungeon crawler video game series developed by Blizzard North and continued by Blizzard Entertainment after the north studio shutdown in 2005. The series is made up of three core games: Diablo, Diablo II, and Diablo III. Expansions include the third-party published Hellfire, which follows the first game, Lord of Destruction, published by Blizzard and released after the second game, and Reaper of Souls, which follows the third game. Additional content is provided through story elements explored in other media forms.
Blizzard North was founded in 1993 under the name Condor by David Brevik, Erich Schaefer and Max Schaefer at the request of Brevik.David Brevik served as the president of the company between 1993-2003, while the Schaefer brothers held the Vice President positions in the company. The company was purchased and renamed as Blizzard North by Blizzard Entertainment's former owner Davidson & Associates about nine months before the release of their hit PC game Diablo in 1996. However, Blizzard North had complete autonomy from Blizzard Entertainment while David Brevik and the Schaefer brothers continued to manage the company respectively as the President and Vice Presidents. Diablo was highly successful, and its 2000 sequel Diablo II even more so. An expansion pack, Diablo II: Lord of Destruction , followed the year after.
David Brevik is an American video game designer, producer and programmer who served as the co-founder and president of Blizzard North. He is best known for the critically acclaimed Diablo franchise. Currently he serves as game designer and founder of his independent studio, Graybeard Games.
Davidson & Associates, Inc. was an American developer of educational software based in Torrance, California. The company was founded in 1984 by husband-and-wife Bob and Jan Davidson, the latter of whom led the company as president until January 1997. Specializing in the production of edutainment software, the company was acquired by CUC International in February 1996 and served as the base for CUC's CUC Software division, being made responsible for the sales and distribution of the combined company.
Diablo is an action role-playing hack and slash video game developed by Blizzard North and released by Blizzard Entertainment on December 31, 1996.
By June 2003 two new games were in production. The first game in production was Blizzard North's version of Diablo III which later was scrapped and restarted by Blizzard Entertainment. The second game was Diablo-like game which would take place in space. On June 30, however, several key employees left Blizzard North to form two new companies. Eight moved to form Flagship Studios, including Blizzard North founder and president David Brevik, the Schaefer brothers and Bill Roper who was transferred from Blizzard Entertainment to Blizzard North in late 1996. Another nine employees left to form Castaway Entertainment.[ citation needed ] By the time the exodus concluded, around 30 employees had left the company.
Diablo III is a dungeon crawler hack-and-slash action role-playing game developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment as the third installment in the Diablo franchise. It was released for Microsoft Windows and OS X in May 2012, the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in September 2013, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in August 2014, and the Nintendo Switch in November 2018. In the game, players choose to play as one of seven character classes – Barbarian, Crusader, Demon Hunter, Monk, Necromancer, Witch Doctor, or Wizard – and are tasked with defeating the Lord of Terror, Diablo, as in previous games in the series.
Flagship Studios was a computer game company founded by Bill Roper along with Max Schaefer, Erich Schaefer, and David Brevik, former high level Blizzard North executives. The core personnel of Flagship Studios had been collaborating as a team since 1993 when they founded Condor Studios and in addition to creating the Diablo franchise many were key high level executives in the development of Warcraft, StarCraft and World of Warcraft games. Flagship Studios was formed following the resignation en masse of Blizzard North management following a dispute with Blizzard Entertainment parent company Vivendi regarding the potential fate of the company, development team, and titles, which were in doubt at that time. Flagship Studio's primary target platform for their games was the PC.
Bill Roper may refer to:
The resignations were partly due to a conflict with Blizzard Entertainment's owner, Vivendi, and partly due to employees wishing to start something new. Back at Blizzard North, however, the resignations had a common effect; of the two unannounced games that were in production, one was canceled. Blizzard Entertainment has since said the canceled game was a "Blizzard North kind of game."[ citation needed ]
Vivendi SA is a French mass media conglomerate headquartered in Paris. The company has activities in music, television, film, video games, book publishing, telecommunications, tickets and video hosting service.
On August 1, 2005, Blizzard Entertainment announced the closure of Blizzard North. A key reason for the closure was Blizzard North's poor development of what was to be Diablo III, which did not meet Vivendi's expectations. Former Blizzard North staffers including Joseph Lawrence, Wyatt Cheng, and Matt Uelmen subsequently appeared in the credits of Blizzard's next retail release, World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade . The work of former Blizzard North artist Phroilan Gardner was featured in editions of World of Warcraft: The Trading Card Game around the same time.
Matthew Francis "Matt" Uelmen is an American video game music composer and sound designer. He is best known for his work in Blizzard Entertainment's Diablo series, which was recognized with the inaugural Excellence in Audio award by the IGDA in 2001. He also worked as a sound designer for the real-time strategy game StarCraft, and worked on World of Warcraft's expansion The Burning Crusade in 2007. From 2009 until the studio's closure in 2017, Matt Uelmen worked as a member of the Runic Games team, as a composer and sound designer for the Torchlight games.
World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade is the first expansion set for the MMORPG World of Warcraft. It was released on January 16, 2007 at local midnight in Europe and North America, selling nearly 2.4 million copies on release day alone and making it, at the time, the fastest-selling PC game released at that point. Approximately 3.53 million copies were sold in the first month of release, including 1.9 million in North America, over 100,000 copies in Australasia, and nearly 1.6 million in Europe.
The World of Warcraft Trading Card Game was a collectible card game based on Blizzard Entertainment's MMORPG, World of Warcraft. The game was announced by Upper Deck Entertainment on August 18, 2005 and released on October 25, 2006. Players can fight against each other one-on-one, or can join others in order to defeat dungeon/raid bosses based on those in the MMORPG. In March 2010, Upper Deck Entertainment lost the license from Blizzard Entertainment. On March 24, 2010 Cryptozoic Entertainment announced the acquisition of the game's license and that planned card sets would be released.
A few employees from the Diablo team, including Eric Sexton, Michio Okamura, and Steven Woo, organized to launch a new company, Hyboreal Games.
Michio Okamura is a computer game developer and artist. He was the lead artist for the popular computer game Diablo, and senior artist on Diablo II. He designed many of the game's characters, including the title character. He is currently the Creative Director at U.I. Pacific.
Sierra Entertainment, Inc. was an American video game developer and publisher. Founded in 1979 as On-Line Systems, by Ken and Roberta Williams, Sierra was known primarily for their graphic adventure game series such as King's Quest, Space Quest, Police Quest, Gabriel Knight, and Quest for Glory.
Impressions Games was a British video game developer founded by David Lester. He sold the company to Sierra On-Line in 1995, who was then bought out by Cendant and eventually, Vivendi Universal.
Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans was a graphic adventure game under development by Blizzard Entertainment and Animation Magic from 1996 until its cancellation in 1998. Set in the Warcraft universe after the events of Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal, it followed the orc character Thrall in his quest to reunite his race, then living on reservations and in slavery following its defeat by the human Alliance. Assuming the role of Thrall, the player would have used a point-and-click interface to explore the world, solve puzzles and interact with characters from the wider Warcraft series.
Stieg Hedlund is a computer and video game designer, artist, and writer with over 25 years of experience who has worked on more than 30 games in the video game industry. Although he is probably best known for his work in action RPGs, he has also worked on games in each of the real-time strategy, tactical shooter, beat-'em-up and action-adventure genres on the PC and almost every dedicated game console. He has a professed interest in conlangery and linguistics.
Christopher Vincent Metzen is an American game designer, artist, voice actor, and author known for his work creating the fictional universes and scripts for Blizzard Entertainment's three major award-winning media franchises: Warcraft, Diablo and StarCraft. On occasion, Metzen has published his art under the alias "Thundergod." Metzen was hired by Blizzard Entertainment as an animator and an artist; his first work for the company was with the video game Justice League Task Force.
Bill Roper is Chief Creative Officer at Improbable. Previously, he was Vice President/GM at Disney Interactive Studios since June 2011, and headed video game studios and creative and development departments for two decades, including divisions at Blizzard Entertainment, Flagship Studios, and Cryptic Studios. He is also an accomplished musician, and a founding member of the folk band The Poxy Boggards.
Rob Pardo was the Chief Creative Officer at Blizzard Entertainment, resigning on July 3, 2014. Previously he was the Executive Vice President of Game Design at Blizzard Entertainment, and prior to that the lead designer of World of Warcraft. In 2006, he was named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Vivendi Games was an American video game publisher and holding company based in Los Angeles. It was founded in 1996 as CUC Software, the publishing subsidiary of CUC International, after the latter acquired video game companies Davidson & Associates and Sierra On-Line. Between 1997 and 2001, the company switched parents and names multiple times before ending up organized under Vivendi Universal. In July 2008, Vivendi Games merged with Activision to create Activision Blizzard.
Patrick Wyatt is a game programmer and one of the three co-founders of ArenaNet. He was the leader of the Network and Technology teams and a programmer for Guild Wars. Before the founding of ArenaNet, he was working in Blizzard Entertainment where he was the Vice President of Research and Development and a senior programmer. Wyatt was the leader of Battle.net gaming network's programming and a major contributor on the multiplayer parts of Blizzard's popular games including StarCraft, Diablo and Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness. Having been in Blizzard for more than eight years, his work also includes earlier Blizzard games like Lost Vikings and Rock N' Roll Racing.
Activision Blizzard, Inc. is an American video game and film holding company based in Santa Monica, California. The company was founded in July 2008 through the merger of Activision, Inc., the holding company of Activision Publishing, and Vivendi Games, the company is traded on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the ticker symbol ATVI, and since 2015 has been one of the stocks that make up the S&P 500. Activision Blizzard currently includes five business units: Activision Publishing, Blizzard Entertainment, King, Major League Gaming, and Activision Blizzard Studios.
Blizzard Battle.net is an Internet-based online gaming, social networking, digital distribution, and digital rights management platform developed by Blizzard Entertainment. Battle.net was launched on December 31, 1996, with the release of Blizzard's action-role-playing video game Diablo.
Russell Brower is an American music composer and three-time Emmy Award-winning sound designer who has created sounds for Tiny Toon Adventures, Animaniacs and Batman: The Animated Series, and video game music for games including Joint Operations, World of Warcraft, Starcraft II and Diablo III. He was previously the Director of Audio/Video for Blizzard Entertainment, the sound designer/editor at Warner Bros. Animation and DiC Entertainment, the Audio Director at NovaLogic, and the Principal Media Designer and Music Director at Walt Disney Imagineering.
Gordo 106 is a 1993 platform video game developed by Tenth Planet Software and published by Atari Corporation in North America and Europe exclusively for the Atari Lynx. Set in the installations of N. Human Laboratories, players assume the role of an exploited laboratory monkey named Gordo, who unintentionally gained intelligence as a result of experimentation with radiation in order to free other animal test subjects and escape from the building, while defeating scientists and employees of the complex along the way. Its gameplay consists of platforming and exploration with a main three-button configuration.
Condor's name will change to Blizzard North as it finishes up Diablo, an eagerly awaited RPG due next month.