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Blizzard Entertainment is a subsidy of the iconic gaming company Activision. Blizzard Entertainment is gaming company, but they also make apparel, action figures, trading cards, and much more. Blizzard makes the game World of Warcraft, which is the reason I chose them as my company. I have been playing World of Warcraft for almost 10 years now and it has held my attention completely and absorbed so much of my life over these years. From my research, I hope to learn more about how this massive empire came to be, since they have paved the way for so many massively multiplayer online roleplaying companies. Blizzard Entertainment is a record-breaking gaming company with a proven track record of releasing #1 games, spanning more than 20 years. They have won countless awards, and have millions of dedicated players worldwide. In 2015, Statista had estimated that World of Warcraft alone had 5.5 million subscribers across the globe.1 [Number of World of Warcraft subscribers from 1st quarter 2005 to 3rd quarter 2015. (2016). Retrieved from https://www.statista.com/statistics/276601/number-of-world-of-warcraft-subscribers-by-quarter/.]. In addition to World of Warcraft, Blizzard has also put out other best sellers such as the Diablo series, Hearthstone, Overwatch (which hit 7 million players in it’s first week), Heroes of the Storm, and the Starcraft series.
Blizzard Entertainment was founded in 1991, originally serving as a third-party development company, and engineering software for other big names such as Sega Genesis and Macintosh.2 [Company Profile. (2016). Retrieved from http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/company/about/profile.html.] The company’s headquarters is located in Irvine, CA, but they currently have offices in 11 different cities around the world. The headquarters office employs 2,622 employees, while the total number of Blizzard employees is close to 5,000. They are publicly traded, with their top 5 holders being FMR LLC (105,342,767 shares), Vanguard Group Inc. (33,277,915 shares), Ameriprise Financial Inc. (30,276,592 shares), State Street Corp. (19,349,183 shares), and Invesco LTD. (15,354,375 shares). Blizzard is listed on the NASDAQ, under the name ATVI. Buying shares at this time, would cost you $43.96.3 [Activision Blizzard, Inc. Ownership Summary. (October 6, 2016) Retrieved from http://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/atvi/ownership-summary.].
There could potentially be many external threats to Blizzard and their success. Blizzard is much like Walmart, in a sense that they have found a niche and have mostly cornered the market. It’s always possible for some smaller company to come out with a game so riveting, that it flies to the top and could threaten the massive empire that is Blizzard, but that won’t happen any time soon. Blizzard’s success has been somewhat decreasing over the past few years in terms of the size of their subscriber base, and also the price of their shares. Any company can only remain on the top for so long. The gaming industry is a little different though. Each company has something completely different to offer, so no matter if they get knocked out of the number one spot, they will always have people that will follow them. In today’s world, with all of the advancements in technology happening at such a rapid pace, the opportunities for Blizzard to expand are endless. They could come out with a Virtual Reality game, they always have their franchises to fall back on, which will always sell no matter what, simply because people have given years of their lives to these games. They could acquire smaller companies to increase their bottom line, they could probably stop releasing new content altogether and still be standing for as long as the servers stayed up. Blizzard could expand into other countries and introduce those people to the games that they offer and further increase their already massive fan base.
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