Blizzard Entertainment turns 25 today. Founded February 8, 1991, under the name Silicon & Synapse, the would-be World of Warcraft developer got its start by porting games for other studios. As Silicon & Synapse, it ported games like Battle Chess to Windows 3.x and Commodore 64, and Castles to Amiga (I played the heck out of the both of those).
Silicon & Synapse changed its name to Chaos Studios in 1994, then Blizzard Entertainment after acquisition by distributor Davidson & Associates. Anyway, Blizzard's breakout hit, Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, hit the scene in 1994, laying the foundation for a gameworld that has become a cultural touchstone for generations of gamers for over 20 years. Zug zug.
World of Warcraft is past its heyday, as the MMORPG market continues to decline. But with 5.6 million subscribers, it's still the pack leader of a fading genre. Other games series in Blizzard's library, like Diablo and Starcraft, keep themselves relevant and imminently playable to this day. Hearthstone makes collectible card games palatable for those of us that missed the Magic: The Gathering bus. Blizzard All-Stars MOBA became Heroes of the Storm, sending us into multiplayer online battle arenas. And Overwatch gets Blizzard into the first-person shooter game since, well, ever since Starcraft: Ghost was canceled and never released back in 2005. Which is to say, Overwatch is Blizzard's first shooter.
It's safe to say that Blizzard is diversifying its portfolio since World of Warcraft is, in one sense, no longer seated at the top of video games' throne. But, in case you think WoW is down and out, the Legion expansion pack is due this year, and the Warcraft movie will own theaters on June 10 (planting it firmly between the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the new Independence Day).
Happy 25th Birthday, Blizzard. If you were a marriage, it'd be your silver. But at 25 years old, you're already past the major aging milestones. Just keep making excellent video games.