The official BlizzCon logo
|Venue||Anaheim Convention Center|
|Attendance||~26000 in 2011|
|Organized by||Blizzard Entertainment|
"BlizzCon" is a convention held by Blizzard Entertainment to celebrate and promote their major franchises: Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo. The first BlizzCon was held in October 2005 at the Anaheim Convention Center where it has been held since. The convention features game-related announcements, previews of upcoming games and content, Q&A sessions and panels, costume and other contests, and playable versions of various Blizzard games. The closing night has featured concerts by The Offspring, Tenacious D, Foo Fighters, Ozzy Osbourne, and Blizzard's in-house band, currently known as Level 90 Elite Tauren Chieftain (previously Level 10, 60, 70, 80 and "The Artists Formerly Known as Level 80" Elite Tauren Chieftain).
Attendees are presented with a "swag bag", containing various Blizzard-related items, including redeemable codes for in-game content and collectible figurines. For example, at the 2005 BlizzCon, there was a code that could be exchanged for an in-game pet from World of Warcraft, which was a baby Murloc named 'Murky'. As well, there have been passes to get into the closed beta test of upcoming Blizzard games: - World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade from 2005, World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King for 2007, StarCraft II for 2008, and Diablo III for 2010.
Tickets for the first event were US$125 each for admission to both days of activities. For the 2007 and 2008 events, prices were lowered to $100. For 2009 the price was raised to $125. For 2010, the price was raised to $150. For 2011, the price was raised to $175. All of the extras in the swag bag, concerts, panels, and contests are included in the price. Blizzard Entertainment announced in January 2012 that there would not be a Blizzcon 2012, and that the next one will be held in 2013. On February 19, 2013, Blizzard announced that Blizzcon 2013 would be held on November 8 and 9, once again in the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California.
The similar event is the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational and it can be held in other countries.
|Year||Dates||Number of attendees||Major announcement||Beta key||World of Warcraft item||StarCraft II item||Diablo III item||Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft item||Playable games|
|2005||October 28–29||8,000||World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade||The Burning Crusade||Murky the Murloc pet||StarCraft: Ghost, The Burning Crusade|
|2007||August 3–4||13,000||World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King||Wrath of the Lich King||Murloc costume||StarCraft II, Wrath of the Lich King|
|2008||October 10–11||15,000||StarCraft II as a trilogy, Diablo III Wizard class||StarCraft II||Polar Bear mount with riding Murloc||Wrath of the Lich King, StarCraft II, Diablo III|
|2009||August 21–22||20,000||World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, Diablo III Monk class||Grunty the Murloc Marine pet||Cataclysm, StarCraft II, Diablo III|
|2010||October 22–23||27,000||Diablo III Demon Hunter class, Diablo III Arena PVP||Deathy, murloc disguised as Deathwing||Murloc Marine Portrait and Deep-Sea Decals||Cataclysm, StarCraft II, Diablo III|
|2011||October 21–22||26,000||World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria||Murkablo, murloc disguised as Diablo||PanTerran Marine Portrait and Fist of Furry Decals||Mists of Pandaria, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, Diablo III|
|2013||November 8–9||26,000||World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor||Murkalot, Murloc Crusader||Tearin' Stitches Portrait & Stiches' Hook Decal||Mark of Death Banner Shape, Pattern, Sigil and Accent||Elite Tauren Chieftain Gold Card||Warlords of Draenor, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, Heroes of the Storm, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft|
Approximately 8,000 people attended the first BlizzCon, held on October 28 and October 29, 2005. For the first time, the general public was able to try the new races for upcoming expansion, World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade. Playable demos of the single and multiplayer modes of the currently halted Starcraft: Ghost were available. A songwriting competition was judged by Jonathan Davis of Korn. Level 60 Elite Tauren Chieftain, comedian Christian Finnegan; and punk rock band The Offspring performed at the closing concert. Among other gifts, attendees received a card with two special codes. One code allowed the attendee to sign up for the closed beta test of The Burning Crusade. The other allowed players to obtain Murky, the pet murloc, in-game.
On April 12, 2007, Blizzard announced their second BlizzCon, taking place again at the Anaheim Convention Center on August 3 and August 4, 2007. StarCraft II was allowed for public play, as single player or 2v2 as Terran or Protoss. Much of the game was revealed and explained as well as Q&A with attendees. The Zerg race was, however, not unveiled at that time. The second expansion to World of Warcraft, titled Wrath of the Lich King, was officially announced. The event's "swag bag" included various items, including an access key to a beta test of an upcoming title (Wrath of the Lich King), a Murloc suit for use in World of Warcraft, and starter packs for the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game. Level 70 Elite Tauren Chieftain (who changed their name to reflect the new level cap in The Burning Crusade) and comedian Jay Mohr performed at the closing concert alongside Video Games Live.
On May 12, 2008 Blizzard announced the third BlizzCon to take place on October 10 and 11, 2008. Like previous years, it took place at the Anaheim Convention Center, and approximately 15,000 people attended.
In the opening ceremonies, Blizzard president Michael Morhaime revealed the third playable class for Diablo III: the Wizard, as well as the major announcement that Starcraft II would be separated into three games.
Playable versions of Diablo III, StarCraft II, and World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King were available for patrons to test for the length of the convention. As well, there were tournaments and competitions for the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game, World of Warcraft miniatures game, StarCraft, StarCraft II, Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, and World of Warcraft arena. The Zerg race was now playable in the StarCraft II demos.
Blizzard announced in a Starcraft II conference that the game will be released as a trilogy, with each release following the story of one of the three races and covering around 30 missions, but any of the games will be enough to play the full version of the multi-player game.
For the closing ceremonies on Saturday, Blizzard CEO Paul Sams thanked everyone for coming. After that, comedians Kyle Kinane and Patton Oswalt entertained the audience before Level 80 Elite Tauren Chieftain came on stage for their performance. Closing out the night was Video Games Live, playing arrangements from all of the Blizzard games, and a brand new performance including the Wrath of the Lich King music.
In an attempt to reduce frustrations linked to lack of ticket availability for previous BlizzCons, there were to be four halls (increased from three) of space available.
Tickets went on sale on May 16 and May 30, 2009. For this batch of ticket sales, Blizzard implemented an entirely new system designed to make buying BlizzCon tickets much easier than the previous year. The new system implemented an online queue, effectively creating an organized online "line" for anyone who wants to purchase tickets, an improvement on 2008's chaotic sale of Blizzcon tickets. The ticket queue system worked much more fairly during both the May 16th and May 30 sales though many did not get tickets due to quick sales time. There were, however, a number of browser related issues that caused a number of people to be unable to purchase tickets. For many, their queue stayed at the same spot no matter how long they waited, and others noticed their queue go up, effectively keeping them at the end of the line and preventing them from purchasing tickets. Blizzard also created a new flash game "Failocallypse" to play while waiting in line.
As in 2008, DIRECTV carried both days of BlizzCon 2009 as a PPV event ($39.95 for both days) for eight hours per day in both standard and high definition. Coverage started on Channel 121 and 122 HD at 2PM ET / 11AM PT on both Friday, August 21, 2009 and Saturday, August 22, 2009. All BlizzCon 2009 Pay Per View event purchasers received an exclusive "Grunty the Murloc Marine" World of Warcraft in-game pet. and had access to the online stream for no additional cost, provided they entered their DIRECTV account number into the stream site login.
New in 2009, BlizzCon was broadcast live via an internet stream. The site covered both days of the convention featuring exclusive interviews and commentary, main stage presentations including the opening ceremony and tournament coverage with team highlights. All purchasers ($39.95 for both days) received an exclusive "Grunty the Murloc Marine" World of Warcraft in-game pet.
Blizzcon 2009 at the Anaheim Convention Center
Cast members of The Guild signing merchandise
Ozzy Osbourne performing live at BlizzCon 2009
Tenacious D performing live at BlizzCon 2010
BlizzCon tournament coverage is hosted by GotFrag eSports and are streamed live on Blizzcon's website. Replays of these streams are available on GotFrag's website. Blizzcon brings in top e-gamers from around the globe to compete in Starcraft, Warcraft III, and World of Warcraft. The top three in each game are given cash prizes.
On March 25, 2010, Blizzard announced their fifth BlizzCon, taking place again at the Anaheim Convention Center on October 22 and October 23, 2010. As of 10:27AM PST on Saturday, June 5, all Blizzcon 2010 Tickets were sold out. Photos from the convention
Similar to 2009, BlizzCon 2010 was available live via an online broadcast ("BlizzCon Virtual Ticket" on blizzcon.rayv.com) and on DIRECTV as a Pay Per View event.
The "BlizzCon Virtual Ticket" provided four live feeds from the convention floor, offering 50+ hours of HD BlizzCon programming. All purchasers also receive a BlizzCon 2010-exclusive WoW pet "Deathy" and StarCraft II in-game items.
DIRECTV again offered both days of BlizzCon 2010 as a PPV event ($39.95 USD for both days) for ten hours per day in both standard and high definition. Coverage started on Channel 121 and 122 HD at 2PM ET/11AM PT on both Friday, October 22, 2010 and Saturday, October 23, 2010. DIRECTV purchasers will also receive "Deathy" and the StarCraft II in-game items as well as the Virtual Ticket for free.
Tenacious D (Jack Black/Kyle Gass) played at the closing ceremonies of Blizzcon 2010, Dave Grohl also performed as the drummer for the entire concert. Recordings of the event were released for free as part of the Live Music Archive.
During the dance competition, one of the contestants dislocated his knee performing the Undead Male dance onstage.
Korean pro-gamer MVP_Genius won the StarCraft II Blizzcon Invitational, with Chinese pro-gamer LonerWE.Prime coming second.
The vinyl record Revolution Overdrive: Songs of Liberty was released for the event.
The sixth BlizzCon was announced on February 7, 2011 to be held October 21–22, again at the Anaheim Convention Center. Once again, Blizzard would be hosting their own series of tournaments, one for StarCraft II and one for World of Warcraft. For StarCraft II, Jeong "Mvp" Jong Hyeon would secure first place, with his team mate Lim "NesTea" Jae Duk taking second and Yang "Sen" Chia Cheng taking third place.
It was announced on July 12, 2011 by GOMtv.net that the GOMTV Global Starcraft II League October final match will take place in Anaheim alongside BlizzCon. Moon "MMA" Sung Won and Jeong "Mvp" Jong Hyeon would head over to Anaheim to participate due to their success back in South Korea. MMA would eventually beat Mvp, 4-1. GomTV would later release a mini documentary featuring the Korean player's experiences at Blizzcon. Video.
The closing ceremony had a performance by Blizzard's own in house band, The Artist Formerly Known as Level 80 Elite Tauren Chieftains (TAFKL80ETC), who changed their name mid concert to Level 90 Elite Tauren Chieftains (L90ETC). Foo Fighters performed afterward.
It was announced on October 18 that four Brood War pro gamers, Bisu, Jaedong, Jangbi and Fantasy, would be going to Blizzcon for exhibition matches. It was unknown as to whether or not they will be promoting Brood War, StarCraft II, or both, however, it was later revealed that they had no scheduled matches.
The opening ceremony showcased a new Diablo III cinematic trailer titled "The Black Soulstone", a StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm reveal trailer showcasing new units and abilities, a "Blizzard DOTA" trailer for a Custom Game made for StarCraft II and the reveal of World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, a new expansion for World of Warcraft.
On February 19, 2013, Blizzard announced that BlizzCon 2013 would be held on November 8 and 9, 2013, at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California. Events scheduled include the finals of the StarCraft II 2013 World Championship Series as well as the Hearthstone Innkeeper's Invitational, attended by a handful of prominent streamers of Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft.
The standard BlizzCon tickets cost $175 each for the two-day event. The tickets were sold in two batches, on April 24 and April 27, 2013, and both batches quickly sold out. Blizzard also sold special tickets that include access to a pre-Blizzcon Benefit Dinner. These limited tickets cost $500 each, with all money collected from the pre-Blizzcon Benefit Dinner being donated to Children's Hospital of Orange County, CA. Blizzard once again sold a Virtual Ticket for live online streaming of all of the events in BlizzCon 2013.
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