Three Things We Weren't Allowed To Photograph At Blizzard HQ

Illustration for article titled Three Things We Werent Allowed To Photograph At Blizzard HQ

During our visit to Blizzard's headquarters, we were given a tour of the developer's campus, a massive office complex that houses a giant Orc statue, an employee-only library filled with nerdy reference, and plenty of things kept top secret.


Our guided tour through the halls of Blizzard took us through the mundane—the company's fitness center—to the memento-filled—the company museum, filled with numerous awards, 31 drafts of the WoW meets South Park episode, and a copy of StarCraft that had been sent to space.) But we weren't allowed to take photos during some portions of our visit and not all areas of the Blizzard campus were open to the press.

So what weren't we allowed to take snaps of?

The Global Operations Room
Blizzard's situation room monitors the goings on of World Of Warcraft activity around the world. It also keeps a close eye on things happening in the real world, thanks to CNN and The Weather Channel.


When we peeked into the darkened room, we saw a couple of Blizzard employees keeping tabs on global events, just in case a server went down by act of God or military coup. This room says serious business.

The "Project Hydra" Sign
Blizzard was rumored to be hard at work on something that wasn't World of Warcraft or StarCraft II back in 2007. That something was allegedly codenamed "Project Hydra"—presumed to be the working code name for Diablo III—two words present on a simple plastic placard behind, we'll assume, an extra layer of security access.

Did Blizzard put it there as a clever ruse? Is "Project Hydra" hearsay confirmed via office signage? Has the company just not yet gotten around to updating the sign to read Diablo III? Regardless, no photos, please!


Whatever Was Behind Those Black Blinds
The campus is filled with Blizzard concept art, from a Protoss starship in the library to earlier maps of Azeroth adorning the walls. Interestingly, some of the in-development artwork was hung in hallways, but carefully covered with black blinds that could be pulled down to obscure whatever it is that Blizzard is working on for the next World of Warcraft... expansion? Patch? Sequel? I was tempted to peek, but still had more StarCraft II to play that day.

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Project Hydra sounds like something to do with the Maelstrom expansion.