World of Warcraft turns 10 years old in 2014, and Blizzard has released a documentary to mark the occasion. World of Warcraft: Looking for Group is an hour-long celebration of Blizzard’s landmark in modern gaming and the enthusiastic culture that has coalesced around it.
The film features extensive interviews with top Blizzard developers like Chris Metzen discussing the game’s genesis from the skeleton of a scrapped tactical RPG called Nomad through its explosive growth from launch onward. Learn behind-the-scenes details about snafus like when the studio basically invited a DDoS on its own servers by opening the Gates of Ahn’Qiraj without informing any server engineers of the event. The documentary also spends a lot of time speaking to the fans and players about how the game has impacted their lives, at one point turning to a montage of people who all explain how they met their spouses in Azeroth.
EverQuest, Ultima Online, and text-based MUDs before them had laid the technical groundwork for massively multiplayer online role-playing games, but WoW was the genre’s breakout success and the first to penetrate the popular consciousness. The game’s launch in 2004 followed just on the tail of Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and was instrumental in carrying forward the momentum that high fantasy had gained in pop culture.
The community has shrunk a bit since its 2010 peak of 12 million players, but has gained ground again in anticipation of its next expansion, Warlords of Draenor, which arrives on November 13, 2014. There is also a Hollywood film in the works, set for release on March 11, 2016.