Blizzard is best-known for creating innovative games, accessible to a huge audience, driven by compelling narratives, strong characters and blockbuster cinematics. Over here at ASUS we are inspired by these amazing games and share that vision to give players the best experience possible.They may not have invented Real Time Strategy Games, Action Role-Playing Games, MMORPGs, Collectible Card Games, or First-Person Shooters—but they have created genre defining, best-in-class games in each one of those genres.
A Legacy Built on Orcs (and Humans)
It was Blizzard’s real-time strategy game Warcraft: Orcs vs. Humans, released in November 1994, that largely put Blizzard on the map—and in a big way.Although Warcraft: Orcs vs. Humans was hardly the cinematic story and game experience for which Blizzard would become known, it was the game that cemented Blizzard in the PC gaming landscape. Orcs vs. Humans earned critical acclaim and soared to the top of the sales charts. It secured Blizzard’s financial future and enabled them to create the Warcraft legacy with Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness (1995), Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos (2002), and of course World of Warcraft (2004)—even culminating in a big budget theatrical release of the Warcraft movie released in 2016.
In between Warcraft II and Warcraft III Blizzard continued innovating on the RTS genre with StarCraft, first released in March 1998. StarCraft was the first RTS game to introduce three asymmetrical factions (Zerg, Protoss, and Terran) at a time when most RTS games only offered two.StarCraft was an enormous hit—and (as you probably know) this was especially true in South Korea—where StarCraft rose to ludicrous levels of popularity and fueled the explosive growth in eSports. A couple expansions and ten years later, StarCraft II would be released in 3 separate chapters, each earning critical acclaim and continued commercial success.
Blizzard Gives Us Hell
In 1996—between Warcraft II and StarCraft’s release—Blizzard unveiled Diablo, and introduced the world to the Action RPG at a time when more traditional and complex turn and stat-based role-playing games ruled the day.Diablo combined accessibility with fast, action-oriented gameplay, and an addictive, deep loot and crafting system. It was a golden era for RPGs, and a dark time for left mouse buttons, that bore the furious brunt of excited gamers clicking their enemies to death in the darkest of dungeons. Diablo defined the “Action RPG” genre, and went on to spawn Diablo II in 2000, and Diablo III in 2012.
Dedicated Innovation, Passionate Community
Notice a pattern in some of these dates? Blizzard’s long-held commitment to quality games and storytelling often leads them to spend up to 10 years between major franchise sequels. Blizzard continues delivering best-in-class games, and has continued branching out in recent years.
They launched the free-to-play, digital collectible card game Hearthstone in 2014, their MOBA Heroes of the Storm in 2015, and their competitive FPS Overwatch in 2016—with all 3 games are dominant forces in eSports.Hearthstone streamlined competitive card games through simplified, easy-to-learn mechanics without sacrificing depth or strategy. Heroes of the Storm may be a distant cousin to DotA, but this year’s 2.0 release featured major improvements and additions, as well as innovative mechanics. Overwatch successfully combined hero-based gameplay - with mechanics clearly drawn from the PC classic Team Fortress 2 - into a juggernaut of a game with more than 30 million players and rapidly growing in eSports.
Blizzard stands tall as one of the greatest video game companies of all time with a 20-year legacy of commercial and critical success and millions of global fans of all over the world. BlizzCon is a celebration of the fans that have inspired them to drive video games and the industry forward to unparalleled heights and we cannot wait to see what is next. Now that we told you our favorites, what’s yours?