Blizzard Entertainment – The Office Snapshots Tour
Usually our office tours are a bit more exhaustive than this post is for one reason: most companies we tour do not have game updates and future games to be kept secret. That being said, visiting Blizzard was a great opportunity see how employees at a huge game production company get stuff done.
I began the tour, which was guided by Vladimir Cole, in the main lobby and Blizzard museum. This lobby was recently revamped by Irvine-based LPA, inc (tour here). While the entire campus is basically a museum of Blizzard memorabilia, pictures, figurines, and huge statues, there is a special section with many original pieces created by Blizzard’s famous design team. This area is made complete with a good-sized theater for meetings and special guest speakers.
As we left the main building, we headed over to a second building, which houses what seemed to be mainly World of Warcraft. Most of the areas of this building ere off limits, or at least off limits to pictures, but I was able to catch a glimpse of what a typical workstation might look like. I was also able to see the command room for World of Warcraft, which basically monitors everything going on with regard to the game on 10-12 huge flatscreen tv’s. The halls of this building are decorated with game art which helps to jazz up the drab commercial feel of the building.
The campus has a cafeteria, volleyball court, and basketball court which are all actively used. Employees also have the advantage of having a mail room that can be used to receive personal packages. There is also a library with technical books, old video games, and other video game design resources. Blizzard has completely filled up their campus with 1700+ employees and has basically maxed out the campus’ lots, which leaves the job of parking to a couple valet attendants. Employees can also spend time gaming during the workday.