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The List: The Top 5 Blizzard Stories of 2016

By Garrett Fuller on December 13, 2016 | Columns | Comments

The Top 5 Blizzard Stories of 2016

As one of the biggest game companies in the world it is always interesting to see what goes on at Blizzard Entertainment. This year had some major news surrounding the company and people paid attention to what was happening over at the fortress in Irvine. Some of the stories were really big, others, were huge and you may have missed them. Here is our break down of the top five events this year for Blizzard.

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5. The Diablo Hype

Every year around Blizzcon the game world gets so bent on rumors it is crazy. You will hear loads of conspiracies on the holo-webs just to try to drive traffic. This is pretty fun actually but this year it seemed like Diablo was on the hype meter more than most games. Some of the rumors that old staff were returning just went out of control. Other rumors that Diablo 4 was going to be announced was even more off chart. In the end, the team gave us an old school look at the first Diablo wrapped neatly in Diablo 3’s game universe. Was it the epic item people were hoping for? Not really sure, I for one am excited to play it though!

4. Tom Chilton Moves to a New Project

Tom Chilton has long been one of the top people on the World of Warcraft team and continued through most of 2016 driving the game design side of the most famous MMO in the world. However, right before Blizzcon, it came out on the media that Tom was moving on to new projects at Blizzard (this ties in with several of our other stories). The good thing about Blizzard is that it seems like corporate culture there allows for you to grow within the company, even if you hold one of the top positions. I think it is great to see Tom move to a new project and start fresh again. We all love WoW, but there are plenty of top designers who work on the game.

3. The Overwatch League

Blizzcon through a huge flag down in the sand with the announcement of the Overwatch League. Go back and watch what Mike Morhaime says in the opening speech at Blizzcon. Teams will have to “bid” to join the league, did you hear that echo through the esports universe? Blizzard is now in the process of building their own sports league and it will be massive when it finally hits the world. With successful events like Heroes of the Dorm (for Heroes of the Storm that is) and the World Cup, Blizzard is now moving into an esports space that few companies have figured out yet. It will be very interesting to see how things shape up over the next few years.

2. Allen Adham Returns

Blizzard was founded by some very smart folks in the 1990s and one of them had left for a while right around the launch of World of Warcraft. Allen Adham is definitely a core force within the top brass at Blizzard and has now returned after 12 years to begin some new projects at the company. This story sort of flew under the radar with fans, but for some of the old time Blizzard crew, it means a ton. Allen is responsible for some of the early games that put Blizzard on the map. It is very exciting to see what he does in the next few years.

1. Chris Metzen Retires

Of all the developers at Blizzard Chris Metzen has been a stand out for years. He was one of those guys you would follow into a battle even if the odds were stacked against you. For the fans he was the embodiment of passion which ran through every player as they sat down to Warcraft. Paladins, Orcs, and on into Overwatch, Chris was the beating heart for many at Blizzard. We are very sorry to see him retire, but at the same time, fully understand the quiet times with family he mentioned in his closing statements.