Blizzard Entertainment is one of the computer gaming industy's most successful video game development studios. Originally working under the name "Sillicon & Synapse", they made the Super Nintendo classics The Lost Vikings and Rock N Roll Racing, as well as the not-classics The Death and Return of Superman and Blackthorne. After renaming themselves Blizzard and moving to computer games in 1994, the studio released a Real Time Strategy game called Warcraft: Orcs and Humans. The rest, as they clichédly say, is history.
After the name-change, the studio has made very few games, but the ones that are published are usually very high-quality and instant best-sellers. Many attribute the success of Blizzard games to their "easy to learn, difficult to master" philosophy, which results in games that are simple and intuitive enough to appeal to casual gamers while also having enough depth and complexity to attract hardcore gamers. Warcraft 1 was followed by Warcraft 2, the studio's first game of the year, which led to Starcraft, the most popular RTS ever. Diablo and its sequel created their own genre of Hack and Slash RPGs and Warcraft 3 was a breakthrough in strategy game storytelling. And then there is World of Warcraft...
Another notable quality in Blizzard's work are its elaborate, yet ignored, plots. However, their storytelling is profitable enough to have spawned expanded universes and sold thousands of pocket books and comics. See the Warcraft Expanded Universe page as an example.
The company is currently based around its Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo franchises, though there are constant rumours and hints of a new project looming in the horizon. Blizzard recently confirmed that a next-gen MMO project currently named "Titan" is in the works, but haven't elaborated on anything beyond the title of the project, which may or may not be the actual name of the game.
Games and expansion packs by Blizzard
- The Lost Vikings (1992)
- Rock N Roll Racing (1993)
- Blackthorne (1994)
- Warcraft: Orcs and Humans (1994)
- The Lost Vikings II (1995)
- Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness (1995)
- Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal (1996)
- Diablo (1996)
- Starcraft I (1998)
- StarCraft: Brood War (1998)
- Diablo II (2000)
- Diablo II: Lord of Destruction (2001)
- Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos (2002)
- Warcraft III: the Frozen Throne (2003)
- World of Warcraft (2004/5)
- World of Warcraft: the Burning Crusade (2007)
- World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King (2008)
- World of Warcraft: Cataclysm (2010)
- World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria (under development)
- Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty (2010)
- StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm (under development)
- StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void (under development)
- Diablo III (2012)
Tropes that apply to Blizzard and its games
- April Fools' Day - Blizzard makes it a tradition to release some preposterously bogus info on their new games during April Fools Day.
- Subverted when one of the jokes was about a new hero unit for Warcraft III, The Goblin Tinker. Even though it was a joke, they added the hero to the game anyway some months after.
- Baa Bomb - Exploding critters are a given in any Blizzard game.
- The Bad Guy Wins - Warcraft I, Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, Starcraft: Brood War and Diablo I and II.... They are rather fond of this trope.
- The main villain of World of Warcraft usually does lose in the end, though.
- Not quite. Various threats to all life have been defeated so far, but there is always a Bigger Bad, and the being that has created (directly or otherwise) every fault in Azeroth's history is "still out there somewhere, in the Twisting Nether".
- The main villain of World of Warcraft usually does lose in the end, though.
- Cutscene - While the games themselves are designed to work on weaker PCs, the cinematics are always state of the art.
- Cash Cow Franchise - All of them. Mainly because...
- Doing It for the Art - ...the company has very high self-imposed quality standards, and has flat-out cancelled games which weren't passing muster.
- Downer Ending / Bittersweet Ending - Fairly common in Blizzard games. The only happy endings thus far have been in the pre-expansion stories of Warcraft II and Warcraft III.
- Don't forget that both Starcraft and its sequel have, in their pre-expansion campaigns, ended with the main antagonist defeated. Beyond the Dark Portal also managed to end with the Horde beaten and under control, the Portal closed, and Draenor destroyed.
- Diablo III, surprisingly, has a happy ending as well.
- Fallen Hero: More often than not, villains in Blizzard's games fit this trope. The scarlet crusade can be considered an entire faction of fallen heroes.
- Flavor Text: for every unit.
- Large Ham - Blizzard games universally have the most flat out over-the-top voice acting you will find in a video game, or any other medium, really.
- Norse Mythology - A prominent influence in several of their games.
- Rated "M" for Manly - Diablo has specifically been described as "what happens when you give the RPG genre from the Japanese into the hands of meat-eating Americans". The other franchises show symptoms too.
- Schedule Slip - The Blizzard maxim for games is: "It's done when it's done." Most of the time it works out.
- Self-Deprecation about it happened with the Blizzard DotA trailer.
- It's hard to tell if they're being serious or not (Or even BOTH), but this press release seems to have the official company stance on "soon". 
- Vaporware - StarCraft: Ghost provides the exception to the rule.
- Ditto Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans, a point-and-click adventure game that was intended to bridge the gap between Warcraft II and Warcraft III. The game was canceled because Blizzard felt that it didn't live up to the company's high standards, and the game's story was instead released as a novel.
- Secret Level: Blizzard loves sneaking secret levels into their games.
- Stop Poking Me - Invented in Warcraft. Used in almost all Blizzard games.
- Trading Card Lame - The WoW TCG.
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