Location: Irvine, CA
Allen Adham, Michael Morhaime, and Frank Pearce founded the game development studio Silicon & Synapse before rebranding it in 1994 as Blizzard Entertainment, a division of Activision Blizzard.
- Diablo III
- World of Warcraft: Cataclysm
- StarCraft II
- The Lost Vikings
- Rock N’ Roll Racing
What to Expect
Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., Blizzard operates additional U.S. offices in Texas and in France, Ireland, China, South Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan, among other countries. All game development is conducted at the Irvine location, but satellite facilities are maintained to assist with customer service, billing, shipping, and other necessary global operations. As a multinational corporation, Blizzard has a need for native and fluent speakers of Asian languages. Language testers and localization analysts are in demand, especially those who can work in Korean, Mandarin, Cantonese, Russian, French, and Portuguese.
Within the Blizzard organization, there are more than 30 distinct departments, including Next-Gen MMO, Web & Mobile, eSports, Mac Team, Technical Quality Assurance, and IT. Creative development teams consisting of game artists, designers, and programmers are divided up by product and are focused solely on that game. Similarly, Battle.net has a dedicated team, as does the cinematic department. A diverse array of positions exists within the company, including FX artists, animators, lead level designers, tools engineers, producers, and community managers. A complete listing can be found on the company’s website. Blizzard offers a comprehensive internship program for college students, and applicants can apply for programs in production, art and animation, creative development, design, game programming, online technologies, business intelligence, quality assurance, and business support. Career fairs and on-campus recruiting sessions are held year-round.
All applicants must submit a résumé and portfolio. Online portfolios that demonstrate a candidate’s most recent and polished work are preferred. Art reels should be no longer than 10 minutes and demonstrate art that is closely related to that of current Blizzard products. Those who desire a career in game design should first gain experience as a level designer using 3-D tools. Likewise, 3-D level editors have replaced the maps of old Blizzard titles. You can create and submit mods to the company, developed with the in-game WoW editor. Programmers must be fluent in C and C++ with a strong background in probability statistics, geometry, and other advanced mathematics. Game testers are hired as part of the quality assurance department. Positions may start out as temporary assignments, then advance to a permanent, full-time position. All game tester jobs require residence in the Southern California area.
In perhaps one of the most impressive and simply awesome displays of gratitude from an empoyer to dedicated employees, Blizzard awards custom designed swords, sheilds, and rings to those that have provided the company with 5, 10, and 20 years of service. In 2011, Blizzard recognized the first employee to reach the 25-year milestone. As the studio ages, no doubt new accolades will be fashioned to bestow of those outstanding few.
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