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How Blizzard stayed laser-focused on quality games for 25 years

Blizzard Entertainment  celebrates its 25th anniversary today, a milestone that very few video game companies achieve in a very Darwinian industry. It has survived this long, and thrived, because of a relentless emphasis on quality. The company, which has been part of Activision Blizzard since 2008, has grown to more than 4,000 employees. In the 12 months ended Sept. 30, 2015, it generated $1.6 billion in revenue and a profit of $592 million. It is one of the crown jewels of the American game business, and its StarCraft, Warcraft, and Diablo brands are known throughout the world.

GamesBeat decided to step back and look at Blizzard’s singular achievement, which started as a few college kids and grew into a corporate empire. It’s a story about a team that stayed together and grew, even as it bounced around from one corporate owner to another, and a focus on quality that was so severe that the team would often kill mediocre games on its own, rather than allow them to be released and damage the company’s good name. Blizzard has sold millions of copies of its games, its flagship brand is becoming a blockbuster film release, and the names Warcraft, Diablo, and StarCraft are household names.

Changing economy reshapes ranks of LI's major employers

Determining the changes in Suffolk and Nassau counties’ employment totals since 2006 is difficult because it is unclear if the figures provided by the counties then and now are comparable.

Nassau County said it employs 16,784 full and part time and seasonal workers now, while Suffolk has 11,075. Both county figures include their respective community colleges but Nassau’s is swollen by 3,650 with the inclusion of the Nassau Unversity Medical Center, A. Holly Pattern Extended Care Facility and five federally qualified health care centers.

A decade ago Suffolk reported 11,612 full- and part-time workers but it’s unclear if the 2006 figure included seasonals, as does the new figure.

An aging population has created more demand for health care. Catholic Health Services has added 2,000 people since 2006, raising its total employment to 17,000; the group includes Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center, St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center, St. Charles Hospital, St. Francis Hospital, and St. Joseph Hospital. Spokeswoman Elisa Gerber said the growth was due largely to the acquisitions of St. Joseph in Bethpage and physicians’ practices, along with organic growth.