Warcraft is a franchise of video games, novels, and other media originally created by Blizzard Entertainment. The series is made up of four core games: Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness, Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, and World of Warcraft. The first three of these core games are in the real-time strategy genre, where opposing players command virtual armies in battle against each other or a computer-controlled enemy. The last and best selling title of the franchise is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG). Expansion sets were also released for multiple games in the series, each adding more content to each game as an effort to expand the product lifespan of each. No expansions were released for Warcraft: Orcs & Humans. Warcraft II was accompanied by the release of Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal. Warcraft III was accompanied by the release of Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Multiple expansion packages accompanied World of Warcraft, namely The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, and Mists of Pandaria.
All games in the series have been set in and around the world of Azeroth, a high fantasy setting. Initially, the start of the series focused on the human nations which make up the Eastern Kingdoms, and the Orcish Horde which arrived in Azeroth via a dark portal, beginning the great wars. The Orcs arrived from another world, referred to as Draenor or Outland, a world which will be shattered into pieces by demonic magics during the events of Warcraft II. Later on in the series the world of Azeroth was expanded, revealing the new continents of Kalimdor, Northrend and Pandaria, allowing the introduction of the Night Elves, Tauren and other major races into the universe. The world of Azeroth also contains the traditional fantasy setting races of elves, dwarves, gnomes, orcs, and trolls.
The series also resulted in the publishing of several books relevant to the Warcraft universe setting, covering a wide range of the timelines of the universe. A collectable card game was also published, which offered those who bought booster packs a chance to gain access codes to limited in-game content in World of Warcraft. An upcoming film adaptation is planned. A number of comics have also been released alongside the books, further covering parts of the universe's storyline. A short-lived, online-subscription only magazine was also available, but later ceased publication after just 5 issues.
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