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Diablo, StarCraft and Warcraft

No one can doubt that Blizzard Entertainment love making games – yet they can also take their time in getting titles out. While the delay is frustrating, the benefit has to lie in the fact they have released some awesome games.

Blizzard Entertainment has been around since 1991 and was then called Silicon & Synapse. Today the company still contains the three original creators, Michael Morhaime, Allen Adham and Frank Pearce. All three were graduates of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Silicon & Synapse first concentrated on ports for other studios before branching out into its own games in 1993. In this year, they created games such as Rock N’ Roll Racing and The Lost Vikings. In 1994 the company changed its name to Chaos Studios for a brief time but then settled on Blizzard Entertainment.

In November 1994 Blizzard Entertainment released its first real-time strategy (RTS) game called Warcraft: Orcs and Humans. The rest, as they say, is history. The first Warcraft game set up the company's future and has been the backbone of its major creations from Warcraft II right up until the popular massively-multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) World of Warcraft (WoW).

Warcraft 1

Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness and the expansion pack Beyond the Dark Portal were released in 1995 and 1996. It didn’t stop there either as Blizzard released Diablo in 1996 and StarCraft as well as StarCraft: Brood War in 1998.

Technically speaking, Blizzard Entertainment has never released a game that has failed since 1994. That is a massive achievement as gamers will struggle to find another developer who can claim such a feat.

The initial three games, Warcraft, Diablo and StarCraft have been building blocks of gaming since they were released and, 16 years later, are still generating money for Blizzard. WoW generates around US$100 million a month through subscriptions.

Gamers should applaud Blizzard on this. Even though its largest franchise is making huge money every single month, Blizzard still go ahead and create epic games. The near future will see heavily anticipated titles such as WoW: Cataclysm (expansion), StarCraft II and Diablo 3.

Gamers have always complained about Blizzard and its release dates because its games take so long to complete in development. Some more open-minded gamers welcome this, though, as even though the games may take a while to complete the games that come out each and every time are near perfection and have always done well.

Diablo 1

The scariest thing, however, is that Rob Pardo, Blizzard Executive Vice President of Game Design, has said Diablo III will definitely be out after StarCraft II. This is daunting because StarCraft II is coming out in three different instalments.

Each StarCraft II release will be focused on a specific race. For those that aren’t aware, the StarCraft II beta which is out now, and the first release of StarCraft II, will be titled Wings of Liberty which is based on the Terran race. The two to follow will be StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm and StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void (Zerg and Protoss respectively).

Hopefully this doesn’t mean that Diablo III will be coming out after all three releases of the game.

Warcraft 3

Incidentally, the StarCraft II beta has been cracked and this is the most effort that any “scene” (team that cracks games/movies) has gone to in order to get their hands on a beta. This shows the popularity of the title despite the long time it has been in development.

StarCraft II was officially announced in May 2007 and is scheduled for release in the first half of 2010. If we call it May, that means StarCraft II has been in development for three years since its announcement for development. By the same logic, we could assume that Diablo III will be released in June 2011 given that it was announced in June 2008.

World of Warcraft

Hopefully that is accurate and gamers don’t need to wait for the rest of the StarCraft II expansion packs before they can get their hands on Diablo III.

So in summation, gamers can be guaranteed a few things. These are:

  • StarCraft II and Diablo III are going to be awesome.
  • Lives will be destroyed as gamers gather at a friend's place to play Diablo III together in the same room.
  • WoW: Cataclysm is bound to add more money into the WoW pool.
  • Hopefully StarCraft II goes to shelves without any major hitches so it doesn’t delay Diablo III.

Starcraft II

All gamers should have had their fair share of StarCraft in South Africa, whether it’s being beaten in eight minutes flat or building a base for an hour and a half. StarCraft is without a doubt more popular globally than Diablo ever will be, however in South Africa there is arguably more anticipation for Diablo III than StarCraft II.

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