In the video game business, Blizzard Entertainment is a household name. Many gamers over the past two decades have favored Blizzard titles, which are known for creating many iconic series like Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo.
The company’s recent troubles (mostly regarding politics and microtransactions) don’t take away from the fact that it has produced some of gaming’s finest works.
Starting with some of their more obscure titles from the early 1990s and working our way up to the money-making machines that are their more recent releases, this list will cover every game ever released by Blizzard Entertainment.
Activision Blizzard history
- Activision Blizzard, Inc. is the name of the company.
- Symbol for Trading: ATVI
- Initial launch: July 10, 2008
- Santa Monica, California, in the United States of America
Activision Activision’s purchase of Blizzard in 2008 created the company we now know as Blizzard. In 1979, a group of disgruntled Atari programmers established Activision. In 1988, the firm tried and failed to change its name to Mediagenic and redirect its focus to the development of software in other fields. After suffering a severe decline, the company was acquired by a group of investors led by current CEO Bobby Kotick in 1991. After this, it reverted to using the Activision name.
Under Kotick’s leadership, Activision reorganized and, thanks in large part to the MechWarrior franchise, returned to profitability in 1997. This expansion was followed by the purchase of several well-known development houses like Raven Software, Neversoft, and Infinity Ward. As a result, between the years 2000 and 2005, Activision developed a slew of critically acclaimed games like Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and Call of Duty.
After a string of successful titles and mergers, Activision finally merged with Vivendi Games in 2008, a division of the French media conglomerate Vivendi SA. Publisher in Los Angeles that recently acquired Blizzard and Sierra. Kotick stayed on as CEO of the newly formed Activision Blizzard, but Vivendi kept a majority stake in the company.
Until 2013, when Vivendi’s majority stake was bought out, Vivendi was the company’s largest shareholder.
Activision Over time, Blizzard focused its development efforts on its most successful intellectual properties. Despite this, it has continued to absorb other development studios, most notably King in 2018, the makers of Candy Crush.
The Early Days – Silicon & Synapse
In case you hadn’t heard, Blizzard wasn’t always called Blizzard. When it first opened its doors in 1991, it was known as Silicon & Synapse. The company’s initial focus was on porting games, but they did create three games during this time:
- 1991’s RPM Racing
- History’s Long-Lost Raiders:
- The 1993 film Rock ‘n’ Roll Racing
RPM Racing was a basic SNES racing game, and Rock n’ Roll Racing added some extra excitement by letting players shoot out of their cars. Originally, it was going to be called “RPMII,” after the original game, but the publisher decided to change the name. The SNES version was originally created, but it was ported to the Sega Genesis and GameBoy Advance as well.
The Lost Vikings is a platform game that was added to Battle.net in 2014, so it’s possible you’ve heard of it.
It features a trio of Vikings who must use their individual skills to escape an alien spaceship and progress through its many challenging levels. It came out for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Genesis, Amiga CD32, DOS, and AmigaOS. In 2003, a Game Boy Advance port was released.
After some legal trouble in 1994, Silicon & Synapse changed its name to Blizzard Entertainment, and soon after, the company released the first installments in what would become its most successful series.
The Death and Return of Superman
Time of Publication:1994
Games for the Super Nintendo and the Sega Genesis.
The company changed its name, and the first game it released was unexpected. It was a beat ’em up in the standard Super Nintendo Entertainment System style, based on DC Comics’ Superman character, and it came out in 1994 for the SNES and the Sega Genesis the same year.
SNES, Sega X32, MS-DOS, Mac OS, PC-98, and Game Boy Advance are just some of the supported systems.
Blackthorne, another platformer/shooter, debuted on the SNES in 1994 and has since been ported to many other platforms. Blackthorne, like The Lost Vikings before it, is another free PC RPG that was released on Battle.net in 2013.
Warcraft: Orcs & Humans
Time of Publication: November 23, 1994
MS-DOS and Mac OS are supported.
The original Warcraft video game is finally here! The game, titled “Warcraft: Orcs & Humans,” serves as a foundation for subsequent titles. Orcs, originally a peaceful race from the planet Draenor, have become corrupted and invaded the human-inhabited planet Azeroth.
With its focus on melee, ranged, and spellcasting units that require careful management in order to engage the enemy effectively and efficiently, the original Warcraft also set the tone for the later Warcraft games from a gameplay perspective.
Although its more advanced sequels would eventually overshadow it, Warcraft: Orcs & Humans was a hugely popular and influential game that put a strong emphasis on multiplayer.
Initially, the game was only available on MS-DOS and Mac OS.
Justice League Task Force
Publication Year: 1995
Consoles: Super Nintendo Entertainment System and Sega Genesis
Justice League Task Force is Blizzard’s second and final DC game, and it’s a fighting game starring the Justice League and a slew of villains. It came out for the Super Nintendo and the Sega Genesis, just like “The Death and Return of Superman.”
Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness
Date of Publication: December 9, 1995
Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac OS, PlayStation, and Sega Saturn
Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness, a sequel to the first Warcraft game, is widely regarded as the turning point in the series’ success. The gameplay was mostly unchanged from the original, but the story was greatly expanded upon, setting the stage for the sequels. Humans escaped the destruction of Stormwind in the first game and made their way to Lordaeron, the setting for the sequel.
Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal, an expansion for Tides of Darkness, added two new campaigns and new multiplayer maps and focused on the events that occurred after the second orc invasion of Azeroth.
Warcraft II was ported to multiple platforms, including the original PlayStation and the Sega Saturn in addition to Microsoft Windows and the Mac OS.
Date of initial release: December 31, 1996
Windows, OS X, and PS4 are the supported platforms.
The creation of Blizzard’s Diablo franchise, the company’s second major IP, is up next. Like the original Warcraft game, the first Diablo game laid the groundwork for subsequent installments in the series. It’s an isometric action RPG where you can play as a warrior, rogue, or sorcerer, all three of which are staples of the RPG genre. The game’s dungeons are generated procedurally, making each playthrough unique.
The Windows version of the game was followed about a year and a half later by ports for Mac OS and the PlayStation. Diablo: Hellfire, an expansion, was also released for it.
The Lost Vikings 2
Published on: February 27th, 1997
Windows, PS2, Saturn, and Super Nintendo Entertainment System
The Lost Vikings 2 was a follow-up to the original game that continued the puzzle-platforming style while introducing two new Vikings with their own set of skills. The game, like its predecessor, debuted on the SNES. The game’s visuals are 3D rather than 2D sprites in the PlayStation, Sega Saturn, and PC versions.
Date of Publication: March 31, 1998
Available for PC, Mac, and Nintendo 64.
The next game to have a major impact was StarCraft, which also happened to be the last new intellectual property introduced by Blizzard for nearly two decades.
Starcraft transitions from a fantasy setting to a science fiction one, where the emphasis is no longer on small, focused groups of units but on much larger armies that require less micromanagement. It introduces the three primary races found in StarCraft: the humanoid Terrans, the technologically superior but mysterious Protoss, and the savage, hive-minded Zerg.
The Windows version came out first, followed by ports for Mac OS and Nintendo 64. Both a remastered version and an expansion, titled StarCraft: Brood War, were released in 2017.
Date of publication: June 29th, 2000
Windows, Mac OS X, and macOS
Diablo II, the sequel to Diablo, came after StarCraft and built upon the success of its predecessor. The game was less likely to become repetitive thanks to its improved 3D graphics, expanded story, and new settings.
Diablo II also expanded gameplay’s options by including new classes. The Barbarian, Paladin, Necromancer, Sorceress, and Amazon are the starting classes.
Diablo II: Lord of Destruction added two more classes—the Druid and the Assassin—to the original five.
Diablo II, like its predecessor, was made available for Windows and Mac OS, and in 2016, the game was ported to the newest version of macOS.
Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos
Publication date: July 3, 2002
OS X, OS X, and Windows are all supported.
Then we got Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, widely regarded as the series’ pinnacle. Warcraft III marked the beginning of the franchise’s 3D era, featuring groundbreaking visuals and cutting-edge CGI cinematics for the time.
The Night Elves and the Undead, each with their own unique playstyles, were introduced as new factions in Warcraft III. Powerful hero units, which became the backbone of each player’s army, were also given greater prominence in the game.
Released a year after the original Warcraft III, The Frozen Throne expanded on the single-player experience and refined the gameplay even further.
The year 2019 also saw the release of a remastered version of the game dubbed Warcraft III: Reforged. Warcraft III can still be played on Windows and both versions of macOS, Classic and Sierra.
World of Warcraft
Date of Publication: November 23, 2004
Windows and Mac OS X
Does it even require an introduction? After its 2004 release, World of Warcraft immediately became a phenomenon. It wasn’t the first massively multiplayer online role-playing game, but its meteoric rise to prominence marked the beginning of the “golden age of MMOs.”
The original, or “vanilla,” version of World of Warcraft was popular from 2004 to 2007, but the game has seen many major expansions since then, beginning with The Burning Crusade.
However, the later expansions, beginning with Cataclysm, made significant changes to the game that made it unrecognizable from its original form, while Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King merely expanded and improved upon the original experience.
The current version of World of Warcraft is vastly different from its inception, but this article will show you how the game has evolved through its various expansions.
As of this writing, seven separate expansion packs have been released for World of Warcraft, with a eighth, Shadowlands, scheduled for release in 2020. The game is still inaccessible on any platform apart from Windows and macOS.
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty
Date of publication: July 27th, 2010
Windows and Mac OS X
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is the sequel to the original game, and like most sequels, it features improved visuals and gameplay.
The three original races are back as the focal points of gameplay, so not much has changed there.
The single-player campaigns for the Zerg and Protoss factions were added to the game with the Heart of the Swarm and Legacy of the Void expansion packs, respectively; the base game only includes a Terran campaign.
Additionally, Blizzard made the original StarCraft II game available for free in 2017, though supplemental content such as expansion packs and downloadable content (DLC) is still for sale.
Only Windows and macOS users can enjoy StarCraft II.
Date of publication: May 15th, 2012
Windows, macOS, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch are all supported platforms.
After a long wait of 12 years, the sequel to Diablo II was released: Diablo III. Diablo III continued the trend of successful sequels by introducing the series to a whole new set of players on cutting-edge hardware, complete with improved visuals and a slew of fresh challenges.
The fundamentals of the experience remained the same, yet again. Barbarian, Wizard, Witch-Doctor, Monk, Demon Hunter, Crusader, and Necromancer were some of the new and returning classes in the game.
The Reaper of Souls and Rise of the Necromancer add-ons brought in the latter two.
However, Diablo III could be played on many different platforms, unlike its predecessor. It was first released in 2012 for Windows and macOS, then in 2013 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and finally in 2014 for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. At long last, in 2018, it was also released for the Nintendo Switch.
Publication Date: March 11, 2014
Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, and Android are all supported.
Now we’ll talk about something totally new. Hearthstone, a Warcraft game released by Blizzard in 2014, is a collectible card game that has quickly become incredibly popular. While Hearthstone is simpler and faster paced than Magic: The Gathering, it clearly draws inspiration from that game and others like it.
Players can customize their in-game characters by selecting one of nine different WoW classes, each of which is based on a different legendary figure from the world of Warcraft. Hearthstone, being a card game, of course has both solo and multiplayer options.
Fans were able to play the game on the go after it was ported to iOS and Android shortly after its initial release on Windows and macOS.
Heroes of the Storm
Date of Publication: June 2, 2015
Windows and Mac OS X
Following the success of Hearthstone, Blizzard continued to capitalize on the video game market by releasing Heroes of the Storm in 2015. All of Blizzard’s major intellectual properties were represented in this free-to-play MOBA game at one point or another: Warcraft, StarCraft, Diablo, and even Overwatch.
Only Windows and macOS users can enjoy Heroes of the Storm.
May 24th, 2016 – Date of Publication
PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Switch are the supported platforms.
What would happen if a MOBA was merged with Team Fortress 2? The end product would be Overwatch, Blizzard’s first new intellectual property (IP) since the release of the original StarCraft in 1998.
However, another phenomenon that hardly needs an introduction is Overwatch. It’s a multiplayer-only shooter with role-playing and role-changing elements and a multiplayer arena brawler for good measure.
The PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One versions of Overwatch were the first to be released, with the Switch version following in October 2019.
By “new games,” we primarily mean sequels and spin-offs, but Blizzard is far from finished releasing new titles. In fact, they have several projects in the works, though no firm release dates can be given at this time.
OS: Apple iOS and Google Android
One of the recent controversies involving Blizzard was the reveal of Diablo Immortal at Blizzcon 2018, when many fans were dismayed to learn that the new Diablo title would be available exclusively on mobile devices.
Diablo Immortal’s six playable classes are the Barbarian, Wizard, Monk, Necromancer, Demon Hunter, and Crusader. Beyond that, we don’t know much about the game.
It’s safe to assume that it won’t be nearly as challenging as the PC and console installments of Diablo, but how well it does remains to be seen.
Platforms: Still Undetermined
Players of the original Overwatch will be able to play multiplayer matches with those of the sequel, Overwatch, and will not be required to upgrade in order to do so. The sequel also features a new engine and improved character models.
There will be graphical improvements, new heroes, and two new PvE modes in Overwatch 2: a cooperative wave defense mode, and a single-player story mode that delves into the heroes’ pasts.
Overwatch 2’s supported platforms have not been officially announced, but it is likely that it will be compatible with PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and possibly PS5 and the next Xbox.
Platforms: Still Undetermined
Diablo IV is the long-awaited, official sequel to Diablo III. The game was just announced at Blizzcon 2019, but if the developers are to be believed, we still have a ways to go before we can get our hands on it.
Here you can find a detailed report on the latest speculation surrounding Diablo IV.
Will Microsoft add Activision Blizzard games to Game Pass?
After the deal closes, Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Gaming, said that the vast majority of Activision Blizzard’s games would be made available on Microsoft’s Game pass.
There are a lot of people who play games by Activision Blizzard because of how popular they are. However, the publisher’s reputation was damaged by a discrimination lawsuit, and players were understandably wary. People who were aware of the scandal avoided Activision Blizzard titles, which caused a significant drop in sales. Finally, in the second half of 2021, the stock price of the company dropped to a new low.
It’s possible that Microsoft can sweep in and restore the glory days of some Activision classics. Following the agreement, most games will be available for the low, low price of $9.99. Players are crossing their fingers that Microsoft includes fan-favorite games in its lineup.
After the deal is finalized, Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass will feature as many new and classic titles from Activision Blizzard’s incredible library as possible. Pencer promised that Game Pass would continue to grow with time, adding “more value and more great games.”
There’s a good chance that Xbox-exclusive versions of Call of Duty and Overwatch will be released, though this hasn’t been confirmed. With over 2,000,000 monthly active players, Call of Duty has been instrumental in helping Microsoft establish itself as a gaming industry leader. The future holds mystery, but for the time being, subscribers to Game Pass are ecstatic.
Microsoft’s Game Pass service grows to 25 million subscribers
Adding Activision’s games to Microsoft’s Game Pass can only benefit the service. The company has announced that it has gained more than 25 million paying customers.
An increase in subscribers could be attributed to the inclusion of Bethesda Games in 2020. Bethesda was Microsoft’s most expensive gaming acquisition until Activision Blizzard. In 2021, the firm finalized its acquisition of the parent company of such franchises as Dishonored, Doom, The Elder Scrolls, and Fallout.
Why is Activision Blizzard hated by so many?
Many people have a negative impression of Activision Blizzard because of the company’s history of scandals involving CEO Bobby Kotick, reports of sexual misconduct within the company, and poorly received games.
The company started conducting periodic, low-volume layoffs in 2017. Even though it reported a successful year to investors, the company was forced to lay off nearly 800 workers in early 2019. In the years that followed, there were additional rounds of layoffs, each affecting anywhere from tens to hundreds of workers.
Along with this, the company made a number of contentious decisions. Chung “Blitzchung” Ng Wai, a pro-democracy Hearthstone player, was banned and punished for his political beliefs.
The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard in 2021, alleging widespread sexual harassment within the company’s workplaces. This shed new light on allegations that Kotick ignored sexual misconduct, such as the 2010 dismissal of a woman who had complained about sexual harassment by his private jet’s pilot. Reports of him threatening to kill an assistant over the phone surfaced soon after that accusation.
Why did Microsoft buy Activision Blizzard?
Microsoft attempted to acquire Activision Blizzard in order to gain access to its intellectual property (IP) and grow its Game Pass service for personal computers.
Activision Blizzard has been the center of numerous controversies, but the company is still a major player in the industry. Since Microsoft’s Game Pass subscription service has been so successful, this could be a wise purchase for the company. Game Pass is primarily associated with the Xbox gaming console, despite being accessible on PC and mobile devices.
Microsoft’s influence in the PC gaming industry will be greatly increased after the acquisition of Activision Blizzard. In the long run, this could also make Xbox the sole platform for many of the company’s intellectual properties.
That’s every game Blizzard has released to date, plus a couple more that are planned for the future.
New Blizzard games will be added to this list as they are announced and released, so check back regularly.