By Star Hughes-Gorup
Blizzard Entertainment’s Irvine office is a gamer’s paradise. The developer of the massively popular World of Warcraft, Diablo and StarCraft franchises has created a sanctuary of comfort, creativity, and fantasy to celebrate its games and the people who make them. With its on-campus gym, cafeteria, basketball court, volleyball court, library, and Blizzard museum, it’s as much paradise as self-contained city.
Guests are greeted by a slightly non-traditional office lobby. Statues, memorabilia, blue neon lights, and a sign that screams gaming adorn the room. The dual staircases make for a very grand entrance, as does the custom lighting.
Off to the left of the reception is Blizzard’s museum and theater – a great amenity both for visitors to the space but also to the fans who work there. The gallery walls and spot lighting make for a dramatic effect, and draw attention to the iconic work the company’s designers have created over the years.
The hallways also incorporate neon lighting to set the mood. The lighting plays off of the standard VCT flooring that mixes a neutral black with pops of purple tiles throughout.
One of my favorite design choices in Blizzard’s space is the incorporation of themed conference rooms, like the one pictured below. Adding character to your conference room, which is generally the “showpiece” of an office, by including custom artwork keeps it on-brand and unique.
The rest of their space (at least the parts visible to the public – as they do have some “secret” areas where they are developing new products) is fairly simple. Traditional drop ceilings, cubicles, and creatively painted support beams. For tech companies on a budget, hiring a local artist to dress up your walls and structural support beams is an easy and affordable way to add some vibrancy, color, and creativity to a space.
All in all, kudos to Blizzard for staying true to their culture – and for creating a space that aligns with the company’s vision as a whole.
Star Hughes-Gorup is a senior vice president and director at Hughes Marino, an award-winning commercial real estate firm with offices in San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Seattle. Star is a key member of Hughes Marino’s San Diego brokerage team, where she specializes in tenant representation and building purchases. Star also makes frequent media appearances to speak on business issues from a millennial perspective, and blogs about life as a woman in a male-dominated industry at starhughesgorup.com. Contact Star at 1-844-NO-CONFLICT, or firstname.lastname@example.org.