Is it dominating the race or about to blow?
Blizzard Entertainment turns 30 this year and, to mark the occasion, BlizzCon last month saw the announcement of Blizzard Arcade Collection. This birthday package rummages out three SNES classics from the early years of the company, blows off the dust, spruces them up a bit, shuffles in some artefacts of company history, then wraps them in colourful paper and ties the whole thing up with a big, sparkly bow – then unabashedly slaps on a brand new price label. So are these games the gifts that keep on giving? Or are we hoping they kept the receipt?
The three games in question are 1992’s The Lost Vikings, 1993’s Rock ‘n Roll Racing and 1994’s Blackthorne. These were the relatively humble beginnings before Warcraft came out in 1995, and started the snowball for Blizzard’s million-selling, multimillion-selling and tens-of-millions-selling mega-franchises that are cultural touchstones for generations of gamers. World of Warcraft, StarCraft, Diablo and Overwatch: unimaginable achievements for the three UCLA graduates we see in the ‘Early years’ photo gallery, renting a bare office and taking lunch breaks on the floor with no furniture. But here we are in 2021, Blizzard aged 30, and the three vintage games are getting a modern makeover.
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