World of Warcraft is in the spotlight this month, both for this week's Blizzcon and possible expansion announcement and, later, for the game's ninth anniversary. We take a look back at how WoW has evolved over the years. Join us in taking a look back before posting some of your favorite memories in the comments.
World of Warcraft was announced in 2001 at the (now defunct) European Computer Trade Show. There, Blizzard execs promise gamers a diverse, accessible online gameplay experience that both hard-core and novice gamers could enjoy. This wasn't an idle affirmation; by then Blizzard had more than proven its ability to design games with mass market appeal. In fact, although officially World of Warcraft took four years to develop, in a way it had been in the works since 1994. Blizzard's classic real-time-strategy title Warcraft: Orcs and Humans (released in 1994) redefined strategy game rules and served as a litmus test for Blizzard's philosophy of accessible design. The follow-up to that title, Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness reinforced that success and convinced the development team it was onto something big.
Read more of Nellie Johnson's World of Warcraft: The Evolution of WoW.