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Longtime Blizzard exec Paul Sams has donated a collection of over 1,500 Blizzard games, marketing materials and merchandise accrued over his 23-year tenure at the company to The Strong Museum of Play in Rochester, New York.
Game industry historians will appreciate that this windfall complements The Strong's ongoing efforts to source collections of game industry artifacts from both private collectors and long-serving employees of notable companies like Broderbund and SSI.
Sams is an example of the latter, having joined Blizzard in 1992 (when it was still known as Silicon & Synapse) and gathered these materials over the course of a career that ended this year when he quit his post as Blizzard's COO to take a job as the new CEO of Ready At Dawn.
It's not clear how much, if any, of his donated materials shed light on Blizzard's game development efforts through the years -- the bulk of Sams' collection seems to be games, costumes, pins and other merchandise.
Jon-Paul Dyson, director of The Strong's International Center for the History of Electronic Games (aka ICHEG) stated in a press release that "this collection showcases the important worldwide influence that World of Warcraft, an inaugural inductee to The Strong’s World Video Game Hall of Fame, and other Blizzard games have had on popular culture, the history of gaming, and the development of virtual communities."
If you're curious to see the exhibit, note that Sam's donated materials will go on display at The Strong in October as the Paul Sams Collection of Blizzard Games and Merchandise.