How Activision Conquered The Video Game Industry

published on July 20, 2020

In 2016 the users of Blizzard Entertainment's spent almost 5 million years playing their games as the developers of some of the most popular video game franchises in history it should be no surprise that they have been extremely profitable that's why in

This week's episode we'll be exploring the history of Blizzard Entertainment this video is brought to you by skill share the best platform for learning any skill online the first 500 people to

Sign up with the link below will get a 2 month free trial established in California in 1991 silicon & synapse was the first incarnation of Blizzard it was created by three friends Alan Adam Michael Moore Haim and Frank Pierce who

Got there early business by working as developers on third-party games for a variety of systems from the Sega Genesis and the Super Nintendo to the Mac and PC they would take games that already existed and would adapt them for other

Systems a process that's known as porting after getting to work on original titles like rock and roll racing and the last Vikings they were bought in early 1994 by an educational software company called Davidson and

Associates they ditched to the name silicon & synapse initially for chaos studios and finally Blizzard Entertainment shortly thereafter they released Warcraft orcs and humans in November 1994 it was a sensation because

It tapped into the growing appeal of strategy games and the enduring popularity of the tabletop game Dungeons & Dragons which itself falls back to earlier fantasy works like tokens two Hobbit and Lord of the Rings

But while Blizzard was riding this newfound wave of popularity the company itself became involved in some kind of corporate takeover or sale practically every year here's a brief timeline of what happened Davidson and Associates in

Another company Sierra online were bought by CUC international an early e-commerce company in 1996 CUC merged with a hotel real estate and car rental franchise called HFS corporation to form Cendant in 1997 the

Next year it turned out that CUC had committed serious accounting fraud over the years which became a pretty big scandal sentence stock obviously crashed so they sold their software operation Sierra

Online which now contained Blizzard all to a French advertising and PR company called Havas Havas were then bought by a bigger French media company called Vivendi Oh in 1998 somewhat surprisingly all of these corporate acquisitions

Didn't have much of an impact on the day-to-day operations of Blizzard even though they did lose some good people along the way nevertheless in 1995 they released a sequel to the original Warcraft game

Which attracted an even bigger following that put Blizzard firmly at the top of the RTS genre they also acquired a company of their own a developer called Condor games who had been working with them on an upcoming title Diablo which

Was the beginning of blizzards second major franchise one of the big contributors to the success of Warcraft 2 NT habló was blizzards decision to invest in building an online platform called Battlement online multiplayer had

Been a very small niche at that point because you really needed some level of technical competence to be able to set it up correctly what's more you often had to rent server space from CompuServe or America online and this could cost as

Much as $30 an hour some fans of the first Warcraft had battled online but we're talking about the most hardcore fans not your average player Blizzard realized how much potential there was for online multiplayer in the RTS genre

So they shifted the established model towards users paying a fixed fee for unlimited gameplay within a certain periods like a week or a month so in 1998 when Blizzard released StarCraft with full integration with battlenet the

Platform's users grew by over 800 percent that year the game outshined anything they'd ever done so far and is now considered the holy grail of RTS gaming even today two decades and ten million copies later the game still has

An active eSports scene and a fervent player base who are refusing to let it die so it's an understatement to say that Blizzard chose to invest their time wisely instead of rushing to release new franchise

They continued to develop their existing properties and to reap the benefits of the boom in online gaming Warcraft 3 and Diablo 2 were huge market victories with Diablo 2 breaking the world record for fastest selling game at the time selling

Chameleon copies in two weeks Warcraft 3 presented a new level of depth to the storytelling cat Blizzard at rate which they've continued to improve over the years the game's ultimate legacy of course is the creation of the mobile

Genre today multiplayer online battle arenas are the most popular games in the world but it all started with an innocent mod of Warcraft 3 despite all of that however even Blizzard were not prepared for the enormous success of

World of Warcraft released in 2004 wow became the best-selling PC game of 2005 and 2006 the game redefined the MMORPG genre and combined it with the rich history it could built up from the previous Warcraft games by the start of

2008 wow hats 10 million users over half being from Asia unlike blizzards previous titles oh wow was a massive cash cow because players had to pay a monthly subscription in addition to buying the game itself

Subscription prices varied considerably from the equivalent of five dollars per month in China to 15 bucks in the US speaking of Asia MMORPGs like wow became a true cultural phenomenon fairer particularly China in South Korea now if

You consider the lowest possible price level of five dollars a month and the fact that Wow has never had less than 5 million monthly users you'll see that for any month wow has brought in a minimum of twenty five million dollars

Of revenue and keep in mind that it's been running for over a decade with new expansions keeping the game alive way past its initial expectations in 2008 blizzards parent company Vivendi merged with Activision to create the

Current company Activision Blizzard together they also run hugely successful titles like Call of Duty and candy crush which they acquired by purchasing King digital entertainment for 59 billion dollars in two

Fifteen the very next year Activision Blizzard posted revenues of 66 billion dollars and over half of that was from n game purchases players buy pets and Wow supply drops and Co of Duty extra lies in candy crush and loot boxes in

Overwatch and yes this conveniently brings us to blizzards latest major endeavor overwatch it launched in May 2016 and by the first quarter 2017 it had already brought in a billion dollars in revenue

A big chunk of its audience comes from what Koreans call PC banks which are essentially gaming centers where people pay per hour to play games groups of friends and by that I mean mostly young guys go to these places to play games

Like overwatch in League of Legends for hours at a time the South Korean government became so concerned about gaming addiction that they enacted laws to prevent kids under 16 from playing excessively blizzards

Original founders by the way are all still there Alan Adam went off into the world of hedge funds for a while but now he's back and his return actually shows just how far Blizzard has come when Adam left

In 2004 Blizzard had 400 employees who were working either on World of Warcraft 2/1 Starcraft 2 but when he came back in 2016 there were 10 times as many employees working on a wide range of products as well as a production arm to

Expand on the somewhat disappointing Warcraft movie and to potentially create a Coe of Duty TV series as of late Blizzard has also been making successful entries into other video game genres like the hearthstone online card game

And the heroes of the storm MOBA just last year blizzards revenue alone was to point 4 billion dollars so it's safe to say that they have many years of game making ahead of them now if being a video game developer

Sounds appealing to you I think you're going to love Skillshare it's an online learning platform with thousands of courses that can help you master all the various aspects of game development from coding and animation to writing and

Level design for as little as $10 a month you gain access to skill shares full library of courses which are easy to follow even if you're a complete beginner to help you learn the ins and of game development I'm giving a two

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