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Posts with tag irvine

Blizzard celebrates the WoW anniversary

The good folks at the Orange County Register got invited to Blizzard's official WoW anniversary party that took place last Thursday on their Irvine campus, and their report is now posted. It sounds like quite the event -- lots of free food and beer, head honchos regaling employees with their tales of the early days, and Rob Pardo suggesting that just like geek culture helped define this game, this game might help define geek culture going forward.

The picture gallery included with the piece is a good browse, too -- you can see all of the Blizzard heavyweights hanging out together, and the great spread set up on the campus. The Register's also been asking Blizzard about their memories of the game -- they've got more memories from Samwise, launch day stories from Shane Dabiri, and some thoughts from Pardo and Frank Pearce (who, strangely enough, at first didn't believe that Blizzard belonged in a hardcore niche market like MMO gaming -- he didn't want to make "a game that never ended," he says). All good stuff. Congrats once again to Blizzard on five years, good to see they celebrated in style.

Filed under: Events, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Blizzard, News items, Galleries

Interview with Paul Sams, Steelers owner


As we reported the other week, Blizzard COO Paul Sams is now co-owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers (who are stepping up lately), and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette hit up Mr. Sams for a quick interview about being at the intersection of Azeroth and Steeler Nation. Turns out the man who collects everything Blizzard has also been a Steelers fan since he was four years old, even though he's from California. And we were right with all of the speculation: he got connected with the Steelers management through Legendary Pictures producer Thomas Tull, and when the chance came to own part of the franchise, he jumped.

They also talk about expanding out to Carnagie Mellon University -- Blizzard has a thriving educational program in Irvine, but Sams says that they are looking to expand that, so Pittsburgh is a possibility. And finally, he says that the Warcraft movie is being scripted at the moment -- Sam Raimi will do Spider-man 4, and then it's all Azeroth for him. In the meantime, let's see about getting some of this Steelers news in the game -- even if we can't get an epic football to toss around, surely we'll at least see a Tauren somewhere named "Bill COW-her," right?

Filed under: Virtual selves, Blizzard, Humor, NPCs, Interviews

Richard Knaak signing in the Midwest, Blizzard artists' forum at UC Irvine


Stuck in the Midwest and didn't have enough money to go see all the fun at BlizzCon 2009 this year? We've got a little (very little) bit of condolence for you: Richard Knaak, author of the Warcraft novels, is doing a signing tour this weekend around the Midwest in Missouri and Kansas. Blizzplanet has all of the dates and places -- he'll be in St. Joseph, MO on Friday (today), and then in Overland Park, KS and Lawrence, KS on Saturday and Sunday respectively. Not quite as fun as seeing Ozzy, but if you're out in the middle of the country, there's your chance at a little facetime with someone helping shape the WoW universe.

Unfortunately, I'm stuck in Chicago, and -- oh wait! I moved to Los Angeles last weekend, which means I'm actually going to get to go to this artists' forum down at UC Irvine in California. Where I am (it's still a little weird to say that). The Laguna Art Museum (which has an ongoing relationship with Blizzard) will be hosting some of Blizzard's and other artists on October 1st, and they'll be talking (we presume) about creating art and other media for games and digital entertainment. Usually this is the part of the post where I'll ask you to send us pictures if you go, but what the heck -- I'm in the neighborhood (not really, but closer than Chicago), so maybe I'll get a chance to go and check it out for myself. See you there?

Filed under: Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Blizzard, News items

Blizzard finishes courtyard statue

That statue of an Orc on a Wolf (the same one that every Blizzard employee got a copy of when they moved into their new HQ a little while back) is now completed and standing outside of their main building in Irvine, California. The OC (don't call it that) Register took a trip over and got some pictures of it, and you can see the whole amazing thing in their photo slideshow.

Cool office decoration or the coolest office decoration? The statue was sculpted by the Weta Workshop in Australia, and shipped all the way into Irvine. No easy task, considering it's bronzed and 12 feet tall. Though from the pictures, it looks like it was installed in two separate pieces -- the wolf mount first, and then the Orc on top. And it also looks like Blizzard had a short unveiling ceremony, but it seems like it may have been just for employees from inside the building.

Bet that statue is more awesome than whatever's outside whatever building you're in right now. It's more awesome than what's outside mine, and I'm in Chicago.

Filed under: Orcs, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard

Working at Blizzard: Sunshine, rainbows, claymores, backrubs

I know what you're thinking! "If anyone could write up a scandalous exposé of what working at Blizzard is really like, it'd be our old pal Mike. I bet he's got the inside scoop of what goes on at Big Blue behind closed doors. I paid for the whole seat but I'll only need the edge."

Yeah, well. I'm going to disappoint you here and instead link you to an article from the OC Register, longtime reporter of all news Blizzard given the company's stature in the SoCal business world. They interviewed Blizzard COO Paul Sams about the studio's recent award of "One of the best places to work in Orange County" and why that award was deserved.


Read more →

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Interviews

Blizzard HQ temporarily evacuated due to earthquake


Blizzard headquarters in Irvine, California were temporarily evacuated today when a 5.4 magnitude earthquake struck the Chino Hills area in southern California. Chino Hills is about 30 miles from Irvine.

According to the information on the login screen, in-game and phone support were momentarily unavailable, however everything is now back to business as usual. No servers or other game services have been affected by the earthquake. All the technology is operating smoothly.

Our own Dan O'Halloran was in private chat with us all when the earthquake struck. He reported that while it was a good shaking, it was "nothing to go home about." Perhaps if we're lucky the earthquake shook a few more Beta keys out of Blizzard. We can only hope.

Take a look after the break for the full in-game news released by Blizzard.

Read more →

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

UCI Game Conference Spotlights WoW

We all know that WoW has been a success for Blizzard Entertainment beyond all expectations, reasonable & unreasonable...and some of the finest minds in our country are putting their heads together to try and figure out why.

No, I don't mean the guys from Microsoft. University of California, Irvine recently held a conference on the future of MMO gaming, featuring network technicians, gamers & anthropologists (no mention of greedy moneymen), to discuss just where we'll all go from WoW. Some interesting topics were raised, and it sounds like it was quite an interesting event. The full story can be read here.



Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, News items

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