WarCraft III (abbreviated to WC3) is a real time strategy game released by Blizzard Entertainment on July 3, 2002. The game contains four playable races: Humans and Orcs, which had previously appeared in WarCraft: Orcs & Humans and WarCraft II: Tides of Darkness, and the Night Elves and Undead, which are new to the WarCraft lore. The game proved to be a best seller and one of the most anticipated and popular computer game releases ever, with 4.5 million units shipped to retail stores and over one million units sold within a month. WarCraft III won many awards including "Game of the Year" from more than six different publications.
WarCraft III differed from StarCraft: Brood War with its gameplay; emphasis on micromanagement, hero units with a simplified leveling system and inventory system, smaller food cap, and income tax based on the size of your army.
WarCraft III's map editor and vast modding community popularized the "Aeon of Strife"-style maps (AoS for short), which led to the creation of the custom map Defense of the Ancients: All-Stars, and ultimately paved the way for the MOBA genre with the release of Heroes of Newerth, League of Legends, and Dota 2.