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Working at Blizzard: Sunshine, rainbows, claymores, backrubs

Michael Sacco

I know what you're thinking! "If anyone could write up a scandalous exposé of what working at Blizzard is really like, it'd be our old pal Mike. I bet he's got the inside scoop of what goes on at Big Blue behind closed doors. I paid for the whole seat but I'll only need the edge."

Yeah, well. I'm going to disappoint you here and instead link you to an article from the OC Register, longtime reporter of all news Blizzard given the company's stature in the SoCal business world. They interviewed Blizzard COO Paul Sams about the studio's recent award of "One of the best places to work in Orange County" and why that award was deserved.

And deserved it was, apparently! Big Paul talks about some of the luxuries afforded to employees at the majestic Blizzard Campus in Irvine, including an on-site chiropractor, valet parking, basketball courts, free swag, a subsidized cafeteria, and the opportunity to work within a few hundred feet of a twelve-foot-tall bronze statue of an orc riding a wolf. Lest we forget, of course, all that is on top of the already-nice benefits package given to all employees.

Is stuff like health insurance a little too plebeian for you? I understand. You're looking for something a little more metal. And metal your rewards shall be, provided you stick around for five years or more. Five-year veterans receive an honest-to-goodness sword (it's different every year); employees of a decade get a shield emblazoned with the paladin logo; and, if you're there for fifteen years, you get a platinum ring.

Five, ten, fifteen years -- they might seem like a long time, but Blizzard inspires a certain kind of loyalty in a person, when your company is headed by someone like Mike Morhaime, it's easy to want to stick around. I can attest to that.

In what can only be called a cruel injustice, I never actually got to experience the new Blizzard Campus, as I opted to relocate to the newer Austin location before the Campus was built. The Austin building was sorely lacking in things like giant musclebound green guys on animals, but that void was filled somewhat by the much more affordable cost of living deep in the heart of Texas. Sometimes, though, I'd have waking dreams, sobbing and reaching out longingly at ethereal worg statues.

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