Tracer, a character from Blizzard Entertainment's wildly popular Overwatch video game, greets visitors at company headquarters in Irvine. Blizzard, one of the largest gaming companies in the world, employs nearly 2,000 people in Irvine.

Blizzard’s meteoric growth

Irvine-based game studio Blizzard Entertainment shattered market expectations in the first half of 2020, posting a 27% increase in growth.

The game studio is now the “tops in the industry,” according to financial reports.

The recent growth continues a strong pattern for Blizzard over the past several years. It is up 62% year-over-year and has grown nearly 200% in the past five years. Its flagship game, “World of Warcraft,” has more than 100 million accounts, making it the world’s most popular online title and generating $9 billion in revenue.

That’s good for Irvine’s economy. Blizzard employs thousands in Irvine and is one of the hundreds of tech-based companies that call the city home. This tech ecosystem doesn’t just spark competition, it creates connections between companies that often spawn more, smaller companies that hire locally as well.

And it’s not just about video games, either.

Blizzard and its companion companies each need a full array of engineers, artists, coders, musicians, composers and producers, as well as project managers and support staff to create successful products.

Irvine’s talent pool fits the bill. The city has one of the most educated workforces in the nation. Nearly 17,500 UC Irvine students are working toward STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) degrees, and more than 72% of the city’s population has at least a bachelor’s degree – the highest percentage in the nation.

With those stats, it’s no wonder the world’s largest tech companies call Irvine home.