|This is a /v/ related article, which we tolerate because it's popular or we can't be bothered to delete it.|
Blizzard Entertainment is an American video game developer founded in 1991. They are well known in the gaming community for rising to fame by shamelessly ripping off a long list of things, the most pertinent to /tg/ being the similarity between its flagship franchises and Warhammer 40k. Blizzard is akin to Apple Inc.: they never really did anything original, and instead took inspiration/borrowed/stole content from other sources, marketed it that they're pretty much posterboys of the brand, and took the credit for being "pioneers of said genre". Let it not be said they didn't steal their business/creative practices from the best.
While Blizzard does "borrow" other people's ideas, there's no denying they spend a lot of time and effort studying those ideas, figuring why they are successful, and what parts of these ideas should be improved or removed to make them better. This leads to creating a few extremely well done and successful games, in turn earning a LOT of money. While other studios may create revolutionary content, Blizzard is more about evolution, with their games becoming golden standards of quality, and "easy to learn, hard to master" learning curves. They are also responsible for creating the game-dev meme "when it's done," which means they could literally spend a decade on the development of one game, and another decade to polish the crunch with a shit-ton of balance patches just for the sake of perfectionism. Of course, they are also greedy bastards with no conscience, and are thus the /v/-fag equivalent of GW, but it's to be expected, given all other major game developers are the same, or much, much worse.
There's contention between the legions of GW and the hordes of Blizzard in regards to copyrights, who invented which idea first, and whether any ripping-off in fact occurred. Facts seem to lean in the direction of no, but facts are nothing before true faith. It doesn't help that they have their own equivalent of Matt Ward and C.S Goto in the form of Richard Knaak. If you venture into these murky depths, bring something that prevents regeneration. Fa/tg/uys tend to accuse Blizzard of ripping off most of Games Workshop's content. They often write long angry posts about why Blizzard is bad people, what was stolen from their precious settings, and why Blizzard games sucks so much. This sounds hilarious when you think about Games Workshop, who does steal all of its content from other settings. Blizzard-fags do the exact same but in reverse, though since most of them don't give a fuck about fluff, few of them know/care about GW.
If you ever meet a raging fan, crying about plagiarism,
ignore the fucking troll throw oil on the fire and get a-trolling. Alternatively, keep raging about Necron Flyer Lists/Terran Hellion Drop imbalance.
Franchises relevant to /tg/
- StarCraft: Space Marines vs Zerg vs Protoss. Beyond being the national sport of Korea, the StarCraft franchise has its own board game and has its own unique version of Risk which alters the rules just enough so that it isn't merely a re-skinned version of Risk.
- WarCraft: Initially Orcs vs Humans but then later more races were added. Particularly notable to /tg/ because it spilled over into multiple genres: There were two separate editions of a D&D campaign setting, a physical trading card game (that isn't Hearthstone) and WarCraft has its own board game too.
- Diablo: Grimdark Dark Fantasy setting involving the wars between Angels and Demons, probably the least skubtastic of the three main franchises because it hasn't really grown out of its comfort zone of hack-and-slash video games. There was a short-lived attempt to port it into both 2nd Edition and 3rd Edition Dungeons and Dragons, though the results were not particularly successful or well remembered.
- Hearthstone: MtG but all the depth and complexity got replaced with RNG bullshit. Also it only costs you one kidney to gather a good card collection rather than both, one leg, one testicle, and the soul of your firstborn child.
In 1992, they made Battle Chess for the Commodore 64 & MS-DOS, and also a Lord of the Rings RPG for the Amiga. The LotR game was supposed to be just the first book, with two sequels, but they never got around to finishing it. They made RPM Racing (allegedly the first American-made SNES game) and Rock n' Roll Racing for the Super Nintendo and the Sega Megadrive but that's /v/ shit. They also made a side-scrolling Superman beat 'em up and a shitty Justice League fighting game for a dose of /co/ crap too. There's also their game The Lost Vikings, a platforming puzzle game where you control three vikings, each of them with their own special abilities (Erik the Swift can run faster and jump higher than the other two and also bash through walls with his horned helmet, Baleog the Fierce can shoot an arrow and kill enemies with his sword and Olaf the Stout can block with shield which he can also use like a hang-glider.) Since the game has viking in it, /tg/ might be interested in it due to their viking fetish. A sequel was also made, The Lost Vikings 2, which added two more characters, a werewolf named Fang and Scorch the dragon, but it's kind of a rarity. Fast forward to more recent times, trying to cash in on the growing MOBA-craze, Blizzard developed Heroes of the Storm by throwing all their decent franchises into a blender to make one mediocre new game, which is ironic considering highly customized user-made StarCraft and WarCraft III maps pretty much spawned the MOBA genre in the first place. Blizz's most recent success is the first-person shooter Overwatch. Though hilariously similar to Team Fortress 2 and drawing upon various sci-fi and fantasy sources, it presents a somewhat unique noblebright setting and characters that are mostly fapbait.
Both of the companies' products have a bevy of similarities and differences that can be factually assessed without any real bias. Beginning here is a
comprehensive tiny list of the comparisons between popular topics of much debate.
While it is true that the light green skin, angry porcine face with lots of tusks, and heavyset jawlines are traits shared across the two species of Orcoids, that's about where the similarities end. While Orks are brutal, fun-loving omnicidal maniacs who love the Dakka and only momentarily hesitate to shoot something if it's sufficiently green and orky, orcs in Blizzard's universe actually eventually filled the unique role of being good guys. For the most part, anyway, back when they were first through the portals they were extremely bloodthirsty but as time has gone on they've settled down nicely. This is actually a first, as no other universe is really known for having Orcs who can be described as friendly (Strike Legion is a good example though). In fact the Orcs of Blizzard's universe are the glue of their faction, serving as the lynch-pin by which the other races come together as one Horde.
Similarly, Orkzes iz da biggest an' da strongest., with the lowly boy far more buff than your standard human and only getting taller and taller as they age. Orcs, while significantly physically imposing, are roughly the same height as average humans, and are dwarfed by their Tauren allies.
Though it should be noted, that at current state Orcs spawned a total of three BBEGs of the setting, including the first Lich King himself, while most other races, except dragons and (technically) draenei, have their count on one or zero. The Orks, on the other hand, are the BBEGs.
Terran Marines vs Space Marines
This should be somewhat obvious. Space Marines, as deigned by GW, are one-man armies, raised from a young age to be killing machines and then augmented to become superhuman monstrosities. Terran Marines, by comparison, are pitiful. If we're being very generous, they're an analogue for the Tempestus corps., but with a worse track record. They are literally a case of the government or rebel faction finding every hick and criminal they can and shoving them in a brainwashing tank, slapping power armor on them, pumping them with drugs, handing them a gun, and telling them to keep shooting until it stops moving. And, considering everything in the StarCraft universe can pierce through tanks and giant mechs, not to mention some power armor, those marines aren't likely to survive their first deployment. So, to put it simply, Terran Marines are really closer to Guardsmen or Penal Legionnaires, except with better guns and even more drugs.
Zergs vs Tyranids
Both are races of ravenous, rapidly evolving beasts under the control of a distant supreme intelligence, both use biotechnology instead of tools, most of their units are fast, deadly, fragile and numerous, and they even look almost the same. The last part is actually to GW's shame, since they all but copy-pasted the Zerg appearance into Tyranids in 3rd edition, mostly to capitalize on the StarCraft financial success (yes, they were that greedy and shameless even back then).
Secondly, while the Tyranids' hive mind is their collective consciousness, the Zerg have actual physical entities with emotions and personalities to rule them - from the lowly Overlords, to the Cerebrates, to the Overmind itself (or Overlords - Hive Queens - Broodmothers - The Queen of Blades after Kerrigan took over control), and with that they also get some actual character development and political struggles in their ranks - something 'Nids solely lack as their only real agenda revolves around planet-hopping towards that psychic light known as the Golden Throne, all the while eating everything on the way. Even though most Cerebrates merged into the new Overmind and were killed by Kerrigan (and her puppets) during Brood War, the real reason that they never showed up again was that their hierarchy was similar enough to the 'Nids that the Cerebrates were killed off off-screen and cut from StarCraft II as a way of Blizzard playing nice with Games Workshop.
Zergs also do not eat worlds, like Tyranids do - only conquer and colonize them, which automatically lowers their Eldritch Unstoppable Evil level by half.
There's also a variant of Zerg called the Primal Zerg, which have a strictly more reptilian/mammalian aesthetic and are notably individuals that operate in Packs. Despite being individuals, some with marked intelligence, they're all basically just focused on eating strong prey and surviving and have no ambitions or desires beyond that one dimension.
Burning Legion vs Daemons of Chaos
Both are evil demons, who came from the dimension of magic and want to destroy everything. The Burning Legion, however, is everything but chaotic, and is highly organized and structured, and even after their dark god Sargeras got himself killed, they managed to keep their shit together. Moreover, unlike Chaos Daemons, who are the manifestations of emotions and magic, creatures of the Legion are mostly normal sapient biological beings, transformed through overuse of fel magic, or artificial constructs, enlivened by said fel magic. Unlike Chaos Gods, who want the eternal conflict just for the sake of it (which makes sense, given they are empowered by emotions, and conflicts stimulate more emotions), the Burning Legion have clear goals, which are: 1) Gather all the magic, 2) Use it to destroy the Creation, 3) Build a new, better one. 4) ???, 5) PROFIT!
Protoss vs Eldar
You fucking kidding me? OK, both are psychic race with small numbers and long lifespan, both have tech, superior to everything in their setting (save Necrons and Xel'Naga respectively), and both are quite arrogant about their superiority. And that's it. Protoss are tough as adamantium bunkers, can warp in infantry almost instantly any place with an energy field, are fast as a slime, hit like every fucking one of them is armed with a tank cannon or a Power Fist and tend to move in big unkillable all-destroying deathballs of doom, while Eldar are fast as hell, can be killed by a mean look, and tend to zoom around in small groups at mind-blowing speed, surgically shooting/cutting down priority targets before retreating to the safety of cover. Culture-wise Protoss are closer to Tau than to Eldar, with a rigid caste system and hierarchy, and the highly collectivist ideology of the Khala, which is actually almost the same as the Tau's Greater Good. From this perspective Dark Templar are basically the Farsight enclave, who told the Khala and its Ethe... I meant Judicators to fuck off and left to build their new home without that brainwashing
pheromones psi-internet bullshit. Oh, wait, the Tau Empire was introduced 3 years after the release of StarCraft... OOPS!
Both the Protoss and Eldar also fell out of their golden ages pretty hard, though that's about where the similarities end. The Eldar caused their empire's fall entirely on their own, between all the murder-fucking and general debauchery that was getting out of hand, to such a point that not only did it reduce their species' population to a pitiful fraction of what it once was, but also damned each and every Eldar soul that exists (or has yet to exist) by creating one of the four Chaos Gods responsible for a shit ton of the Grimdark in 40k. Even though the Eldar are fighting against all odds, and making some progress with the birth of Ynnead, the chance of them actually ever returning to a semblance of their former glory is about as likely as the God-Emperor of Mankind leaping from the Golden Throne and declaring the Imperium of Man a Xenos-inclusive democracy. The Protoss, on the otherhand, are only partially responsible for their fall from power, as the internal strife between the Judicator Caste and Templar Caste didn't exactly help prepare them for when the Zerg invaded their homeworld of Aiur. The surviving Protoss as a whole had to evacuate to Shakuras, where their Dark Templar kin granted them sanctuary (in that kind of arrogant "look at how cool and caring we are despite you exiling our kind" mindset). Also unlike the Eldar, the Protoss are notably reclaiming their former glory. Having made buddies with the Dark Templar, Purifiers (sentient Protoss AI), Tal'Darim (to the Protoss the way Dark Eldar are to the Craftworlders), the collective Protoss race took back Aiur and is currently rebuilding a unified homeworld for all Protoss.
TL;DR: A game company with an emphasis on quality (usually), responsible for both awesome and terrible things. If you really want to know what's what, go look it up yourself from a better source than 1d4chan.