Before the release of WoW Classic, before the advent of World of Warcraft itself, and even before the 2002 release of Warcraft 3: Tides of Chaos, a developer by the name of Kaeo Milker joined the ranks at Blizzard. He's now spent a total of 18 years working for the company, and has done his part in releasing hit games such as Heroes of the Storm.
Now that Warcraft has turned 25 years old, Shacknews had the chance to speak with Milker and learn more about the history of both Warcraft and Blizzard, including some details about how the studio managed to branch into several different teams and start working on entirely new projects.
Milker is one of several Blizzard employees who have been around for long enough to have seen the evolution of its biggest intellectual properties. As such, there's been a fair amount of "cross pollination," as he puts it, among the studio's employees, detailing how a single group of developers eventually split and began working on multiple games and game engines.
"[With] each team at Blizzard [...] there's some core values and things that are really similar, but we're all working in different technologies, different styles, different genres," Milker said. "So there's a lot of change I think when you move across the teams, but it's been something that's actually been really beneficial to Blizzard throughout the years.
"Originally it was one development team that was pretty much making all the games. Later on we had Blizzard North doing the Diablo series, then we started slowly expanding to the point that we'd have team one working on Starcraft 2 while team two was working on Wow, and team three working on Diablo games."
Similarly, the introduction of Heroes of the Storm provided an ideal way to unify not only Blizzard's many developers, but also its many properties:
"Heroes of the Storm was actually a perfect [example] because it was the game that brought all Blizzard universes together, and we actually had people who came from Diablo, who came from Warcraft, [...] and that allowed us to kind of perfect the pieces of those games that came into Heroes of the Storm. "
With the Warcraft series now reaching its 25th anniversary, and considering the continuing popularity of the World of Warcraft MMO, we're not inclined to think the studio is showing any signs of slowing down. Be sure to follow both Shacknews and GamerHubTV over on YouTube for more exclusive developer interviews and video game industry convention coverage.