Why the Apple of gaming went from World of Warcraft to iPhone games

One of the striking things about Blizzard, the superstar developer behind some of gaming’s biggest hits, including World of Warcraft, Diablo and Starcraft, is how little it actually does.

That’s not to say the company’s employees aren’t constantly at work, although the Kendo lessons taking place on the lawn outside its headquarters in Irvine, California, on the sunny spring day I visit could give that impression.

The HQ is a hive of industry, even if most of that industry is hidden behind doors marked Secret: No Visitors. But that list of smash hits above constitutes fully half of the franchises Blizzard is developing. Those three are stalwarts at the company: World of Warcraft is celebrating its 10th anniversary, Starcraft II is six years old and two expansion packs into its life, and Diablo III is enjoying a second wind as an acclaimed couch co-op game four years after it first launched.

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