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Stay Awhile and Listen: How Two Blizzards Unleashed Diablo and Forged a Video-Game Empire - Book I [Kindle Edition]

David L. Craddock , Andrew Magrath , Monica Cesario , Amie C. E. Kline
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $9.99

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Book Description

Two companies. Two opposing cultures. One multi-billion-dollar video-game empire.

Stay Awhile and Listen: How Two Blizzards Unleashed Diablo and Forged a Video-Game Empire - Book 1 invites readers to discover the origin of Blizzard North, a studio built by gamers, for gamers, and Blizzard Entertainment, a convergence of designers driven to rule their industry.

Composed from exhaustive research and hundreds of personal interviews, the Stay Awhile and Listen series divulges the fated meeting that brought the two Blizzards together, the clashes that tore them apart, and their transformation from grassroots democracy to corporate empire. At the center of it all—Diablo, a hack-and-slash adventure through the darkest recesses of Hell that changed online gaming forever.

Editorial Reviews


David Craddock's Stay Awhile and Listen masterfully retells the tale of the game development Camelot created by the founders of Blizzard Entertainment. -Richard Garriott, creator of the Ultima series

Stay Awhile and Listen tells how passion, maxed-out credit cards and sleepless nights spawned a gaming phenomenon and unearths the game design secrets that made Diablo an enduring classic. -Tristan Donovan, author of Replay: The History of Video Games

A fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the storied history and development of Diablo and the early days of Blizzard Entertainment. -Dr. Ray Muzyka, co-founder of BioWare
Stay Awhile and Listen flows almost like a documentary film. During the narrative parts, it's easy to imagine a group of young developers hunched in front of faintly glowing screens. During the quotations, you can picture the older and wiser industry veterans sitting in front of a camera and explaining those early days with smiles on their faces.
Craddock takes his time introducing each person, and by the time he explains their contribution, I felt like I knew them as human beings, not as developers--what they were like as kids, where they came from, and what their aspirations were. -Venture Beat

Stay Awhile and Listen
is a rare and intriguing look into the people and experiences behind some of my favorite video games of all time. -Randy Pitchford, co-founder of Gearbox Software

About the Author

David L. Craddock lives with his wife and business partner, Amie Kline-Craddock, in Canton, Ohio. He writes short and long fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. His young adult fantasy novel, Heritage, will be published by Tyche Books in summer 2014. Follow him at,, and @davidlcraddock on Twitter.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2507 KB
  • Publisher: Digital Monument Press, LLC (October 27, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00G8UL474
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #317,560 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great origin story of an entertainment giant October 31, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
David L. Craddock has pieced together a fascinating narrative from first-hand sources. Even with my own game development experience, I found that Stay Awhile and Listen provided a unique insight into the development process used in past eras, and the book still has some valuable lessons for us today. It shows that there was a potent mixture of talent, opportunity, and personality that drove the meteoric rise of Blizzard Entertainment from its earliest days. I can't wait for the next installment.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get Inside the World of Game Development October 31, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Stay Awhile and Listen: How Two Blizzards Unleashed Diablo and Forged a Video-Game Empire - Book I
You don't have to be a Diablo fan to get a lot out of this book. Stay Awhile and Listen takes you inside the game development world, and leaves you with a really solid understanding of how much craziness happens between having an idea and shipping a game. Probably 50% of the text are direct quotes from more than a dozen of the folks who made Diablo happen, but Craddock weaves these quotes together in a way that manages to be really informative without ever being dry. Creating an adventure game is an adventure in itself, and this feels like an adventure story.

If you are considering a career as a game developer, read this book first. It is both an inspirational and a cautionary tale.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fun & Breezy Read October 31, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am in geek-out heaven reading this account of Blizzard's earliest days. This is an easy and fun read, and highly interesting even if one doesn't know the games involved first-hand. I, for one, have never bothered with Diablo and these are among the more interesting Chapters I've consumed so far. One needn't even be a gamer to enjoy this volume, I think. Despite the gaming-specific details, the tome also functions as a kind of guide-to-startups and all of the pain, passion and personal sacrifice involved with authoring one's own company. Also quite fascinating is just how blindly and coincidentally these developers stumbled upon their chosen solutions to traditional in-game problems. Things a WoW or a Diablo player takes for granted (e.g. how each game handles the concept of "death") were problems first encountered by the original players of the game: the Developers themselves! Here's hoping there won't be TOO much of a delay before Book II is released, this is a very fun read and one highly recommended for anyone with even a passing interest in video games.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book November 4, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read the book because I was interested in the history of Diablo. The book was very well written and overall I enjoyed it. My only complaint that it was very light on technical information.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! So That is How They did It! November 10, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you are an avid gamer having been raised on video games from birth or an old timer who remembers their first moments playing Pong this book is for you. Mr. Craddock weaves an amazing factual account of three young men who started with nothing but a dream and created a multi million dollar video game empire. You Diablo fans out there will definitely enjoy the real story behind the game and for those who have not played Diablo perhaps its time to give it a try. This is a must read for anyone who wants insight on the birth of Diablo and the video game industry from its beginnings. Well-done Mr. Craddock.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good subject....poorly executed. November 18, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Often, I enjoy learning about how a game gets made that more than playing the game itself. This book was an interesting peek inside the minds of those that came to be Blizzard and Blizzard North during their early days leading up to the release of Diablo.

I would have really enjoyed more technical details behind the game itself, but realize this was not a game post-mortem but a history of how they started.

Unfortunately, I think the author's lack of expertise in writing a historical biography shows. The book is MOSTLY just organized quotes from the employees intermixed with a smattering of explanation. I think I got spoiled after reading Steve Jobs by Walter Issacson.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed they book but that was mostly due to the subject matter. It could have been one of my favorite re-reads if it had either more technical detail or better (read:more) actually writing between the quotes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I see what you see not November 20, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Stay Awhile and Listen is one of the best reads I've had in so many years. David Craddock goes into such extreme detail on what may seem like trivial things - but to fans of Blizzard North, these things matter. Preserving and being able to have insight into the development of Diablo is something special.

I highly recommend this to not only fans of Blizzard, but also anyone who wants to one day make video games. It provides invaluable knowledge on the ups, downs, in and outs of how things can and will go wrong - whether it be code or unhappy employees.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It Takes One to Know One! August 4, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
I really enjoyed this book. As a long-time female gamer and bibliophile, fluent in both artistic "languages," I can say, with a smile on my face, that the quote from Erebos, "Stay awhile and listen!" was absolutely not lost on me. Storyline and games intersect yet can also be separate or in the best cases, symbiotic. I wish the sub-genre of techno-fantasy/cyberpunk fiction about gaming and video games was larger, but I also enjoy reading books like this one, regarding the history and development of games. I'm anxious to see what the rest of the series holds.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Come for the history leave for the mediocre storytelling
Good. The rhetoric around describing things gets old but the history is interesting.
Published 4 months ago by Parker Wightman
3.0 out of 5 stars closer to a 2.5
i did some how stick with it to the end.

although diablo is surely a masterpiece, it really read more like a long corporate sound byte espousing the 'gaming culture' of... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Vivace
5.0 out of 5 stars really good read
Thanks for writing this book!

I am a huge fan of anything Blizzard and it was great to get so many insights and I loved all the little side quests

Published 11 months ago by peter the boat
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book - very educational
I loved this! It was very well-written and organized and let you know what went on behind the making of Diablo. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Teodor Georgiev
4.0 out of 5 stars Love the idea, but the execution leaves something to be desired.
(Edit) I was contacted by the author and somehow I missed the fact this is a "book 1" so the parts of this review about it not being complete and null and void. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Brooks
4.0 out of 5 stars fun and interesting read
The book jumps back and forth through time a bit abruptly as it shifts focus from one person to the next which is occasionally a bit jarring. Read more
Published 14 months ago by emuls
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for every person in the industry
Deep description of team and human relationships inside a video game company. Very interesting. It also has many quotes from the founders!
Published 15 months ago by Fernando Herrera
5.0 out of 5 stars When is Book 2 going to be released?
To be honest, I'm not a Diablo fan. It's one of those games you just know will appeal to you, but somehow I've managed to really never play it. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Dinesh Harjani
5.0 out of 5 stars Left me wanting more.
This book is such a treat for anyone who loves to get the inside scoop on game development. All too often the stories behind the creation of great games go untold. Read more
Published 16 months ago by M. Kunze
2.0 out of 5 stars Raw interview notes, no editing, no fact checking
With an author, two editors and an illustrator, you would expect a finished product. What you get is the kind of notes a researcher would produce, that authors, editors and... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Aaron C. Brown
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More About the Author

David L. Craddock lives with his wife and business partner in Ohio. He is the author of STAY AWHILE AND LISTEN, a three-part series that chronicles the history of World of WarCraft developer Blizzard Entertainment and Diablo/Diablo II developer Blizzard North; and HERITAGE, a young adult fantasy novel. Follow his writing exploits at,, and @davidlcraddock on Twitter.


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