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Page history last edited by Tomas 10 years ago




Concept revealed in September 2001.

January 2004  World of Warcraft beta was introduced

November 23rd 2004 game releases in North America




Outline of Franchise Information: 

  1. What is World of Warcraft? 

  2. Time Line 

  3. History of World of Warcraft

  4. Franchise Creators

    1. Blizzard Entertainment

    2. Michael Morhaime: President of Blizzard Entertainment

    3. Frank Pearce: Vice President of Blizzard Entertainment

    4. Allen Adham: Vice President of Blizzard Entertainment 

  5. Role-Play  

  6. Character Class

    1. Warrior

    2. Hunter

    3. Paladin

    4. Rogue

    5. Priest

    6. Death Knight

    7. Shaman

    8. Mage

    9. Warlock

    10. Monk

    11. Druid  

  7. Game

  8. Ways to Play

    1. Open-World PvP

    2. Battlegrounds

    3. The Arena

    4. Dungeons

    5. Raids

  9. Expansion Packs

    1. World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade (Jan 15, 2007)

    2. World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King (Nov 13, 2008)

    3. World of Warcraft: Cataclysm (Dec 7, 2010)

    4. World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria (Sept 25, 2012)

    5. World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor (Fall 2014)

  10. Before World of Warcraft

    1. Warcraft: Orcs & Humans

    2. Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness

    3. Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos


  12. WoW Losing Subscribers

  13. Future of World of Warcraft

    1. The Good

    2. The Bad

    3. The Ugly 

What is World of Warcraft?


"World of Warcraft is an online game where players from around the world assume the roles of heroic fantasy characters and explore a virtual world full of mystery, magic, and endless adventure. Games in the same genre as World of Warcraft are commonly referred to as MMORPGs, which stands for “Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game.  Most multiplayer games can accommodate anywhere from two up to several dozen simultaneous players in a game. Massively multiplayer games, however, can have thousands of players in the same game world at the same time, interacting with each other. They are, as the name suggests, massive. Unlike most games, MMORPGs do not have an offline mode; you need to be connected to the Internet while you play" (Blizzard entertainment).


1991: Blizzard Entertainment Inc. was founded.

1994: Warcraft: Orcs & Humans (MS-DOS version).


1995: Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness (MS-DOS version).

1996:  Warcraft: Orcs & Humans & Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness released as the Macintosh version. Along with the expansion pack that emerged from Tides of Darkness; Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal.


2002: Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos along with second sequel to Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, and the third game set in the Warcraft fictional Universe.

2003: An expansion pack of Reign of Chaos,The Frozen Throne.


First Expansion pack of the massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) of World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade.

World of Warcraft Burning Crusade Wallpaper

2008: The second expansion pack of the MMORPG of World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King .

2010: The third expansion pack of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm.

2012: The Fourth expansion pack of World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria. 

Wallpapers Wow Mists Of Pandaria   1600x1000

2014: The Fifth expansion pack of World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor.


 Warlords of Draenor™ Alpha Patch Notes 04-23-2014



History of World of Warcraft






Franchise Creators




Blizzard Entertainment 


"Blizzard Entertainment Inc. is an American video game developer and publisher founded on February 8, 1991, under the name Silicon & Synapse by three graduates of UCLA, Michael Morhaime, Allen Adham, Frank Pearce and is currently a subsidiary of American company Activision Blizzard. Based in Irvine, California, the company originally concentrated primarily on the creation of game ports for other studios before beginning development of their own software in 1993 with the development of games like Rock N' Roll Racing.  In 1994 the company became Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. before being acquired by distributor Daviudson and Associates and later by Vivendi. Shortly thereafter, Blizzard shipped their breakthrough hit Warcraft: Orcs and Humans. Blizzard went on to create several successful video games, including the Warcraft  ,and Diablo series, and the MMORPG World of Warcraft. Their most recent projects include Diablo III, World of Warcraft's fifth expansion, Warlords of Draenor, and the first expansion of Starcraft II, Heart of the Swarm."(Wikipedia)





Michael Morhaime: President of Blizzard Entertainment


"Michael Morhaime became Chief Executive Officer of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. and an executive officer of Activision Blizzard in July 2008 in connection with the Combination. In February 1991, Mr. Morhaime co-founded Blizzard Entertainment, now a subsidiary and one of our two principal operating units, and transitioned to the role of Blizzard Entertainment's President in April 1998. Mr. Morhaime served on the executive committee of Vivendi Games from January 1999, when Blizzard Entertainment became a subsidiary of Vivendi Games, until the consummation of the Combination. Mr. Morhaime holds a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from the University of California at Los Angeles."(Forbes)




Frank Pearce: Vice President of Blizzard Entertainment


"As Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.'s executive vice president of product development, Frank Pearce plays a critical role in the development of all Blizzard Entertainment® titles. This involves coordinating the work of multiple teams in order to ensure that every project maintains the same polish and quality that mark all Blizzard Entertainment games.  Since cofounding Blizzard Entertainment with Allen Adham and Mike Morhaime in 1991, Pearce has been deeply involved in the company's projects. He takes an active role in the ongoing development of World of Warcraft® as the current executive producer, and he oversaw the development of World of Warcraft's first three expansion packs, The Burning Crusade®, Wrath of the Lich King®, and Cataclysm.  In his spare time, Pearce enjoys staying active by way of running, biking, and hockey. He also sits on the Computer Science Advisory Board for the University of California in Los Angeles, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science and engineering."(Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences)





Allen Adham: Vice President of Blizzard Entertainment


One of the three co-founders of Blizzard Entertainment.  "Adham was involved in the creation of The Lost Vikings, RPM Racing, Rock N' Roll Racing, Warcraft: Orcs and Humans, Starcraft, and most notably as the lead designer for World of Warcraft He received his bachelors degree in 1990 from UCLA.  In 2004, Adham left Blizzard to found Tenfold Capital Partners, a quantitative hedge fund, but he remains a consultant to Blizzard."(Wikipedia)








"In World of Warcraft, each player character has a specific set of skills and abilities that define that character’s role.  In a group context, there are three main roles: tank, damage dealer, and healer.  Role-play also means that you play the role of a character living in the game’s fantasy world. How much or how little you role-play is up to you; some players construct entire background histories for their characters and adopt unique mannerisms when they’re “in character.” Immersing yourself completely in the fantasy can be a lot of fun, but tastes vary, and it’s perfectly alright if full immersion simply isn’t your style. This kind of role-play is purely optional, and we provide separate Role-Play realms for those who prefer to play in an immersive world" (Blizzard Entertainment). 




"World of Warcraft thrusts you into a central role of an ever-changing story. You and your friends will be active participants in events that are steeped in the rich lore of this fantasy universe. Fight for either the Alliance or the Horde, and experience a fully-realized fantasy world" (Blizzard Entertainment).  



Character Class







"Warriors combine strength, leadership, and a vast knowledge of arms and armor to wreak havoc in glorious combat. Some protect from the front lines with shields, locking down enemies while allies support the warrior from behind with spell and bow. Others forgo the shield and unleash their rage at the closest threat with a variety of deadly weapons."







"From an early age the call of the wild draws some adventurers from the comfort of their homes into the unforgiving primal world outside. Those who endure become hunters. Masters of their environment, they are able to slip like ghosts through the trees and lay traps in the paths of their enemies."







"This is the call of the paladin: to protect the weak, to bring justice to the unjust, and to vanquish evil from the darkest corners of the world. These holy warriors are equipped with plate armor so they can confront the toughest of foes, and the blessing of the Light allows them to heal wounds and, in some cases, even restore life to the dead."








"For rogues, the only code is the contract, and their honor is purchased in gold. Free from the constraints of a conscience, these mercenaries rely on brutal and efficient tactics. Lethal assassins and masters of stealth, they will approach their marks from behind, piercing a vital organ and vanishing into the shadows before the victim hits the ground."








"Priests are devoted to the spiritual, and express their unwavering faith by serving the people. For millennia they have left behind the confines of their temples and the comfort of their shrines so they can support their allies in war-torn lands. In the midst of terrible conflict, no hero questions the value of the priestly orders."






Death Knight


"When the Lich King’s control of his death knights was broken, his former champions sought revenge for the horrors committed under his command. After their vengeance was won, the death knights found themselves without a cause and without a home. One by one they trickled into the land of the living in search of a new purpose."





"Shaman are spiritual guides and practitioners, not of the divine, but of the very elements. Unlike some other mystics, shaman commune with forces that are not strictly benevolent. The elements are chaotic, and left to their own devices, they rage against one another in unending primal fury. It is the call of the shaman to bring balance to this chaos. Acting as moderators among earth, fire, water, and air, shaman summon totems that focus the elements to support the shaman’s allies or punish those who threaten them."





"Students gifted with a keen intellect and unwavering discipline may walk the path of the mage. The arcane magic available to magi is both great and dangerous, and thus is revealed only to the most devoted practitioners. To avoid interference with their spellcasting, magi wear only cloth armor, but arcane shields and enchantments give them additional protection. To keep enemies at bay, magi can summon bursts of fire to incinerate distant targets and cause entire areas to erupt, setting groups of foes ablaze."







"In the face of demonic power, most heroes see death. Warlocks see only opportunity. Dominance is their aim, and they have found a path to it in the dark arts. These voracious spellcasters summon demonic minions to fight beside them. At first, they command only the service of imps, but as a warlock’s knowledge grows, seductive succubi, loyal voidwalkers, and horrific felhunters join the dark sorcerer’s ranks to wreak havoc on anyone who stands in their

master’s way."








" When the pandaren were subjugated by the mogu centuries ago, it was the monks that brought hope to a seemingly dim future. Restricted from using weapons by their slave masters, these pandaren instead focused on harnessing their chi and learning weaponless combat. When the opportunity for revolution struck, they were well-trained to throw off the yoke of oppression."







"Druids harness the vast powers of nature to preserve balance and protect life. With experience, druids can unleash nature’s raw energy against their enemies, raining celestial fury on them from a great distance, binding them with enchanted vines, or ensnaring them in unrelenting cyclones."










"As your character progresses and gets stronger as you gain experience, new skills, and more powerful items and equipment. Your character’s progress is automatically stored online, which means that you always pick up right where you left off when you start the game again. In fact, your character’s data can be stored for as long as you want, so you can progress at whatever pace you feel most comfortable with. The core gameplay of World of Warcraft revolves around fighting monsters and completing quests. You will encounter thousands of non-player characters (NPCs), computer-controlled characters who may need your help with tasks ranging from the mundane (such as delivering a letter) to the truly heroic (rescuing a dwarven princess from the evil Dark Iron Clan, for example).  Another aspect of the life of a hero is the constant struggle between the Alliance and the Horde. Even though there are currently no all-out wars, tensions are high, and small skirmishes regularly take place all over Azeroth where players from both sides fight each other. This is called player-versus-player combat (PvP)" (Blizzard Entertainment). 






Ways to Play 








"Open-World PvP:  Open-world PvP can happen anywhere in the world where players of opposing factions meet. These fights usually start as small one-on-one confrontations, but sometimes this type of PvP escalates to massive proportions, especially if an organized group of players decides to jump into the fray" (Blizzard Entertainment).





"Battlegrounds:  Battlegrounds are PvP battlefields where the two factions are engaged in constant battle over specific strategic targets. Two teams are pitted against each other and must achieve a set of objectives in order to win. These objectives can be simple (such as capturing the enemy flag) or complex (breaching an enemy stronghold and assassinating its commander, for example). You can earn powerful weapons and armor by participating in these battles" (Blizzard Entertainment).





"The Arena:  The Arena offers a slightly different PvP experience. In this more formal setting, organized teams of 2, 3, or 5 players square off in a bloody competition for fame and glory. There is only one objective – defeat every last member of the opposing team. Arena teams are ranked on a competitive ladder and can gain unique equipment that offers benefits optimized towards PvP gameplay" (Blizzard Entertainment).







"Dungeons:  Dungeons are dangerous places where the monsters are much stronger and much smarter, making them difficult to kill. Dungeons are geared towards small groups of no more than 5 players and on average take about half an hour to fully explore. The loot found in dungeons is of higher quality than what you’d find out in the wild, but it is usually not as valuable or powerful as the loot that can be acquired in raids" (Blizzard Entertainment).



"Raids:  Raids are similar to dungeons, but they pose an even bigger challenge. Monsters are even tougher, the area to explore is usually much larger, and they require bigger groups of players to complete, usually 10 or 25. Due to the higher level of difficulty, raids may take longer to finish than dungeons, but the rewards are well worth the effort. The game’s most powerful items and artifacts can be found in raids" (Blizzard Entertainment).




Expansion Packs



World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade (Jan 15, 2007) 


 Sold over 2.4 million copies on release days making it the fastest selling PC games.




  • Development of Massively Multiplayer Online Graphical Role Playing Games - 59th Engineering and Scientific Emmy Awards


  • Massively Multiplayer Game of the Year - Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences Interactive Achievement
  • Design Award: Best Mac OS X Game - Apple
  • Visual Effects Society Award - Pre-rendered Visuals in a Video Game
  • Expansion Pack of the Year - GameSpot
  • Expansion Pack of the Year - GameZone
  • Game Informer's Top 50 of 2007
  • Top 50 Games of 2007 and Readers' Top 50 Games of 2007 - Eurogamer
  • #5 overall on PC, #7 across all platforms, and Gamers' Choice PC RPG of the Year - GameSpy
  • Editors' Choice - Gamespot
  • Editors' Choice - IGN
  • Editors' Choice - MacWorld
  • Editors' Choice - GameSpy
  • PC Game of the Month - Game Informer
  • IGN Readers' Choice Award - Best Expansion - IGN






World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King (Nov 13, 2008) 



Added on a lot of content in the game world including northrend, lich king, new character "hero" class. 2.8 million copies sold first day beating the previous expansion pack by 400,000 copies.




  • Massively Multiplayer Game of the Year - 12th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards
  • Best Expansion Pack - GameSpothttp://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/a/a9/Wrath_of_the_Lich_King.jpg
  • Top 10 Games of the Year 2008, PC and Overall - GameSpy.com
  • Best of 2008 - Top 5 PC Games - Wired
  • Best Games of 2008 - Metacritic
  • Top 50 Games of the Year - Eurogamer
  • Top 50 Games of the Year - Game Informer
  • Favorite Expansion of 2008 - Massively
  • Best MMORPG - VGChartz
  • Best Expansion of 2008 - GameStooge.com
  • Editors' Choice - Gamespot
  • Editors' Choice - GameSpy.com
  • Editors' Choice - IGN
  • Editors' Choice - PC Gamer







World of Warcraft: Cataclysm (Dec 7, 2010)



Updated 3500 new quests, 3.3 million copies sold in first 24 hours and copies of pre-sales, and 4.7 million sold within the first month.







  • MMO Game of the Year - GameSpy

  • Best MMO (PC) - IGN

  • Best MMORPG - 1UP

  • Best MMO of the Year - G4TV

  • Readers' Choice: Best Fantasy Game (PC) - IGN

  • Best Expansion/DLC - Game Banshee

  • Best Multiplayer - RPGamer

  • 2010 Gaming Awards - Maximum PC

  • Best Expansion - GameTrailers







World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria (Sept 25, 2012)



Sold 2.5 million copies within the first week of release. digital subscribers passing 10 million.








  • Top 50 of 2012 - Game Informer
  • Readers' Top 50 Games of 2012 - Eurogamer
  • Best MMOs of 2012 - GamesBeat
  • Best Additional Content - Machinima.com Inside Gaming Awards 2012
  • Editors' Choice - GameTrailers
  • 5 out of 5 - Escapist
  • 4.5 out of 5 - G4
  • 8.7 out of 10 - IGN
  • "WoW's best expansion to date" (unstarred review) - USA Today
  • "Best expansion for World of Warcraft yet" (unstarred review) - PC World










 World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor (Fall 2014)



Upgrade player level from 90 to 100 with intro to player build.







Before World of Warcraft 



"Before World of Warcraft, there was the Warcraft series of strategy games. World of Warcraft is set in the same high-fantasy universe as the previous Warcraft games, and it builds on and expands a legacy of more than fifteen years of epic storytelling.


 Warcraft - Orcs & Humans Coverart.png




"Warcraft: Orcs & Humans is a real-time strategy game (RTS), developed by Blizzard Entertainment and published by Blizzard and Interplay Entertainment. The MS-DOS version was released in 23 November 1994 and the Macintosh version in late 1996. Sales were fairly high, reviewers were mostly impressed, and the game won three awards and was a finalist for three others."






"Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness is a fantasy-themed real-time strategy (RTS) game published by Blizzard Entertainment and first released for DOS in 1995 and for Mac OS in 1996. The main game, Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness, earned enthusiastic reviews, won most of the major PC gaming awards in 1996, and sold over 2 million copies.  Later in 1996 Blizzard released an expansion pack Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal."







"Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos is a high fantasy real-time strategy video game released by Blizzard Entertainment on July 3, 2002 in the U.S. It is the second sequel to Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, and it is the third game set in the Warcraft fictional Universe. An expansion pack, The Frozen Throne, was released on July 1, 2003.  The game proved to be a best seller and one of the most anticipated and popular computer game releases, with 4.5 million units shipped to retail stores and over one million units sold within a month.Warcraft III won many awards including "Game of the Year" from more than six different publications."







Blizzard Games  

Unites Sold  


World of Warcraft  

14 Million  

$298 Million 

World of Warcraft Expansions 

28 Million 

$435 Million 

World of Warcraft Subscription Revenue


$2.3 Billion 


9.5 Million 

$437 Million 

StarCraft2 wings of liberty  

4.6 Million 

$242.5 Million


2.5 Million 

$112.5 Million 

Diablo 2 

4.2 Million 

$202 Million 




WoW Losing Subscribers




"During Activision Blizzard's most recent quarter, World of Warcraft subscriptions dropped by about 100,000, the company announced today. That brings the game's total subscription base to 7.6 million players as of September 30, 2013. The new figure was shared as part of a third quarter investors report, which notes that WoW remains the number one subscription-based MMORPG on the market. Back in July, the company announced WoW was down to 7.7 million playerswhich represented a more significant drop as the the game had 8.3 million players during the prior quarter.While it's nowhere near the heights it was once at -- the game had 12 million subscribers in 2010 -- 7.6 million subscribers still represents a tremendous success for Activision Blizzard. If past releases are any indication, that figure is likely to rise once the next expansion -- which was teased at Gamescom and may be known as warlords of Draenor -- is launched."(Chris Pereira)


"Expansion launches are interesting: they aren’t just a chance to bring in existing players: the trailers, news, announcements act as a boost for the entire game. World of Warcraft ads pique interest in, not just an expansion, but the game itself. But that big push only occurs once every two years. WoW players jump in for the new expansion, but leave when they start to tire of the end-game.  Between 2007 and 2009, World of Warcraft was the number one PC game on the planet, and its success was self sustaining. People played WoW because their friends played WoW. That environment doesn’t exist, and will never exist again. Worse: the competition is probably free-to-play. Who’d subscribe to an MMO when you can play League of Legends every night for a year, for free and not get bored? It may be that World of Warcraft is in perpetual decline. That reversing that decline is impossible. In that case, Blizzard need a new game."(Tim Edwards)


"Despite this dip in subscription numbers, WoW has altered gaming culture as a whole because of its status. Whether the game has had a positive or negative effect on MMO gaming culture, however, is up for debate."




Future of World of Warcraft


 The Good 

I think that WoW still has a long future ahead of itself, Morhaime told IGN. “I think it’s really up to us to continue looking at ways to keep the gameplay feeling fresh and new. Adding new things to the game. Making the game more accessible for not only new players, but also players that played WoW at one point in time, and want to come back. I think maybe an unintended consequence of adding all of this content is that when you layer in complexity and add new things, the people who aren’t keeping up with all of that feel like they’re getting further and further behind.” 


“If I had to prioritize, it’s our active players at number one, our returning players at number two, and then probably third is players who, after nine years, haven’t tried it yet,” Morhaime said. “People are doing different things. People are getting older. Nine years ago, some people weren’t old enough to play WoW. Now they are. We want to be there to be the MMO of choice for them as they grow up.”


"I think the focus should be on accessibility, providing a free onramp to the game. But if you really want to play WoW for any length of time, I think we’ll stick with subscriptions.” 


"As for those subscriptions, he believes that, as with most WoW expansions, the game will likely see a spike in users once Warlords of Draenor comes out.We generally see different factors playing in with subscribership,” Morhaime said. “It’s never been linear growth. It’s always been driven by new content and seasonality. It’s pretty normal to see a spike with the launch of a new expansion. When there’s a period with not a lot of new content, we see that drop.”



The Bad 

"It’s important to note that the nature of online games has changed,” said Kotick, “and with the environment becoming far more competitive, especially with free-to-play games. To address this, we’re working to release new content more frequently to keep our players engaged longer and make it easier for lapsed players to come back into the game.”


"As EA and BioWare learned quite painfully, a subscriber-based MMO is a tough sell in today’s market.

Star Wars: The Old Republic quickly moved to a free-to-play model months after the game was released, as rapidly dwindling subscriber numbers spelled doom for the game’s original subscirbe-to-play model."


"Blizzard is starting to feel the pain of an increasingly legitimate suite of alternatives to World of Warcraft. More importantly, they’re facing an existential threat to a tried and true revenue model. While the game itself may be aging, it still represents one of the best, most content-rich MMOs on the market. The problem isn’t so much that the game is aging, but that the business model is."



The Ugly


I suspect the game won’t enjoy the same kind of market dominance it’s had over the years. I suspect market trends are pushing the entire industry toward more niche-based and less costly MMOs and online games. There may never be another World of Warcraft, and maybe that’s all for the best.








Comments (5)

Anita Fisher said

at 2:29 pm on Apr 21, 2014

Great background, but when you are reading the blue text it merges into the background and the words blend in so they are unreadable. Do you think we should go to a "green" color or something that won't blend in?

Nick Siever said

at 6:30 pm on May 3, 2014

Lol just have to say I like the random image of Dragon Age Inquisition you put in there by open world PVP.

Reba Ramcharit said

at 9:47 pm on May 4, 2014

Thanks for letting us know!

Anthony Carlson said

at 11:21 am on May 6, 2014

add content to what is world of Warcraft
bulletpoints for history of world of Warcraft
everything for blizzard entertainment quotes needs highlights
Gameplay needs a video, history needs story line
sales statistics needs bullet points
put wow losing statistics put in own words and extend on future.

Tomas said

at 11:27 am on May 6, 2014




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