Blizzard Entertainment Inc. (formerly named Silicon & Synapse) is an American video game developer and publisher based in Irvine, CA.
Blizzard Entertainment was founded February 1991. After graduating from UCLA a year before, three computing graduates decided to form a gaming company called Silicon & Synapse, which referred to the building block of the computer (silicon) and the human mind (synapse). Under that name, the company developed games for the Super NES like Rock n' Roll Racing, The Lost Vikings and Blackthorne. Silicon & Synapse garnered many awards within those years but received backlash for its company name. Many mistook it to be a breast implant firm because of the word"silicon,"which led them to briefly changed its name to Chaos Studios but it did not help either. Many people had trouble pronouncing the name (mispronunciations ranged from"chows" to"Chads") and discovered that another company with the Chaos name already existed. In early 1994 they were acquired by distributor Davidson & Associates for $6.75 million. The same year the three year old gaming company switched its name to Ogre Studios but Davidson & Associates went against it because they felt"ogre"was too scary for the target audience. Finally, after numerous discussions within the team, they finally settled on Blizzard Entertainment. Blizzard's three main intellectual properties include the Warcraft,StarCraft, and Diablo franchises. Each franchise boasts an impressive, and almost "cult-like" following of fans, that have made Blizzard one of the most easily recognizable names in the gaming industry today. In July 2008 Vivendi Games, who at the time owned Blizzard Entertainment, merged with game publisher Activision. Using Blizzard's name as a marketing tool to promote the company and deal as a merger and not a direct buyout, named the resulting company Activision Blizzard.