BlizzCon

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BlizzCon
The official BlizzCon logo
The official BlizzCon logo
Status Active
Genre Video games
Venue Anaheim Convention Center
Location(s) Anaheim, California
Country United States
Inaugurated 2005
Attendance ~26000 in 2014
Organized by Blizzard Entertainment
Filing status Corporate
Website
battle.net/blizzcon/en/

BlizzCon is a video game convention held by Blizzard Entertainment to promote its major franchises Warcraft, StarCraft, Diablo, Heroes of the Storm and Overwatch. The first BlizzCon was held in October 2005 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California in the US where it has been held ever since. The convention features game-related announcements, previews of upcoming Blizzard Entertainment games and content, Q&A sessions and panels, costume contests and playable versions of various Blizzard games. The closing night has featured concerts by The Offspring, Tenacious D, Foo Fighters, Ozzy Osbourne, Blink-182, Metallica, and Linkin Park.

A similar event is the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational, which has been held in countries other than the United States, however this event has not been held since 2008.

Gifts[edit]

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'. In addition, there have been passes to get into the beta tests of upcoming Blizzard games: - World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade for 2005, World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King for 2007, StarCraft II for 2008, and Diablo III for 2010.

Pricing[edit]

Tickets for the first event were US$50 each for admission to both days of activities. For the 2007 and 2008 events, prices were $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. For 2014, the price was raised to $199 as well as the price of the Benefit Dinner ranging from $500 to $750.[1] For 2015 and 2016, the price remained at $199. All of the items from the swag bag, concerts, panels, and contests are included in the price. In 2015, Blizzard allowed people that purchased the virtual ticket to purchase the swag bag for an additional fee.

Blizzard announced in January 2012 that there would not be a BlizzCon 2012, and that the next one will be held in 2013.[2] Since 2013, BlizzCon has been held annually.

BlizzCon events[edit]

Year Dates Number of attendees Major announcement Beta key World of Warcraft item StarCraft II item Diablo III item Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft item Heroes of the Storm item Overwatch item Playable games Closing Band
2005 October 28–29 8,000[3] World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade Murky the murloc pet StarCraft: Ghost, World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade The Offspring
2007 August 3–4 13,000 World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Wrath of the Lich King Murloc costume item StarCraft II, World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Level 70 Elite Tauren Chieftain, Video Games Live
2008 October 10–11 15,000[4] StarCraft II as a trilogy, Diablo III Wizard class StarCraft II Polar bear mount with riding murloc Diablo III, StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Video Games Live
2009 August 21–22 20,000[5] World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, Diablo III Monk class Grunty, the murloc marine pet Diablo III, StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Ozzy Osbourne
2010 October 22–23 27,000 Diablo III Demon Hunter class, Diablo III Arena PVP Diablo III Deathy, the murloc Deathwing pet Murloc Marine portrait and Deep-Sea decals Diablo III, StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Tenacious D
2011 October 21–22 26,000 World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Murkablo, the murloc Diablo pet PanTerran Marine portrait and Fist of Furry decals Diablo III, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Foo Fighters
2013[6] November 8–9 26,000 World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor Murkalot, the murloc crusader Tearin' Stitches portrait & Stitches' Hook decal Mark of Death Banner Shape, Pattern, Sigil and Accent Elite Tauren Chieftain golden card Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, Heroes of the Storm, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor Blink 182
2014 November 7–8 26,000 Overwatch, Hearthstone's Goblins Vs. Gnomes expansion, StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void Grommloc, the murloc Grom Hellscream pet Artanis portrait and decal Warlords of Draenor Weapon Transmogs Blizzard 2014 card back Nexus Charger mount, BlizzCon 2014 portrait Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, Heroes of the Storm, StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void, World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor, Overwatch Metallica
2015 November 6–7 25,000 Legion's and Warcraft's trailer and release date, Hearthstone's The League of Explorers adventure, StarCraft II's mission packs Murkidan, the murloc Illidan pet Xel'naga and Spear of Adun portraits BlizzCon pennant and Murkgoblin pet Blizzard 2015 card back Nexus Battle Beast mount World of Warcraft: Legion, Overwatch Linkin Park
2016 November 4–5 TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD

2005[edit]

Approximately 8,000 people attended the first BlizzCon, held on October 28–29, 2005.[3] For the first time, the general public was able to try one of the two new playable races, the Blood Elves, for upcoming expansion based in Outland which was released as the Burning Crusade in 2007 . 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. 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.[7] The other allowed players to obtain Murky, the pet murloc, in-game.

Level 60 Elite Tauren Chieftain, comedian Christian Finnegan; and punk rock band The Offspring performed at the closing concert.[8]

2007[edit]

The opening ceremony at the 2007 BlizzCon

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.[9][10] 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.[11] The second expansion to World of Warcraft, titled Wrath of the Lich King, was officially announced.[12] 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.

Comedian Jay Mohr entertained at the closing ceremony followed by Level 70 Elite Tauren Chieftain (who changed their name to reflect the new level cap in The Burning Crusade) alongside Video Games Live performing at the closing concert.[13]

2008[edit]

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[4] 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 session 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 multiplayer game.

BlizzCon 2008 was broadcast live on both days as a PPV event on DirecTV for US viewers only, for eight hours per day in high definition.[14] Official Blizzard fansite WoW Radio broadcast live audio via SHOUTcast.[15]

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. The closing ceremony was performed by Video Games Live, playing arrangements from all of the Blizzard games, and a brand new performance including the Wrath of the Lich King music.

2009[edit]

On February 17, 2009, Blizzard announced their fourth BlizzCon, taking place again at the Anaheim Convention Center on August 21 and August 22, 2009.[16] 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.[17]

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.[18] and had access to the online stream for no additional cost. 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.[19]

The third expansion to World of Warcraft called Cataclysm was announced, but the announcement did not cause much of a surprise because almost all of the details leaked a week earlier. Ozzy Osbourne performed for the closing ceremonies.[20]

2010[edit]

Tenacious D at Blizzcon 2010

On March 25, 2010, Blizzard announced their fifth BlizzCon, taking place again at the Anaheim Convention Center on October 22 and October 23, 2010.[21] Tickets were sold on June 2 and on Saturday, June 5, all Blizzcon 2010 Tickets were sold out in 28 minutes.[22]

The fifth playable Diablo III class was revealed to be the Demon Hunter and the StarCraft II modification called "Blizzard DotA" was presented, which later evolved into Heroes of the Storm.

Similar to 2009, BlizzCon 2010 was available live via an online broadcast on the "BlizzCon Virtual Ticket". The "BlizzCon Virtual Ticket" provided four live feeds from the convention floor, offering 50+ hours of HD BlizzCon programming. 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. All purchasers of either package received a BlizzCon 2010-exclusive WoW pet "Deathy" and StarCraft II in-game items.

Korean pro-gamer MVP_Genius won the StarCraft II Blizzcon Invitational.[23] The vinyl record Revolution Overdrive: Songs of Liberty was released for the event.

Tenacious D (Jack Black/Kyle Gass) played at the closing ceremonies with Dave Grohl as the drummer for the entire concert.[24] Recordings of the event were released for free as part of the Live Music Archive.[25]

2011[edit]

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 teammate 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.[26] 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.[27]

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 new game made from StarCraft II and the reveal of World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, a new expansion for World of Warcraft.

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). The Foo Fighters performed afterward.[28]

2013[edit]

On February 19, 2013, Blizzard announced that BlizzCon 2013 would be held on November 8–9, 2013, at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California. Events scheduled include the finals of the StarCraft II 2013 World Championship Series[29] as well as the Hearthstone Innkeeper's Invitational, a Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft tournament featuring a handful of prominent streamers.[30] The StarCraft II competition was won by Kim Yoo Jin "SOS", World of Warcraft was won by team Skill-Capped and Hearthstone was won by Dan "Artosis" Stemkoski.

The standard BlizzCon tickets cost $175 each for the two-day event.[31] The tickets were sold in two batches, on April 24 and April 27, 2013, and both batches quickly sold out.[32] 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.[33][34] Blizzard once again sold a Virtual Ticket for live online streaming of all of the events in BlizzCon 2013.[35]

The Heroes of the Storm "Cinematic Trailer" was presented with an alpha version of the game available for playing. Hearthstone's' was announced to begin beta testing and that the game would be released on iOS and Android. The fifth expansion to World of Warcraft, Warlords of Draenor, was officially announced and a trailer was shown. The Warcraft film concept art was shown. Diablo III: Reaper of Souls was announced to be released on PC and PS4.

The closing ceremony was performed by Blink-182.[36]

2014[edit]

Life won the BlizzCon 2014 StarCraft II tournament.

On April 22, 2014 Blizzard Entertainment announced that BlizzCon 2014 would be held on November 7–8, 2014, in Anaheim .The standard tickets cost $199 for the two-day event and went on sale May 7 and May 10, 2014. In addition, a limited number of tickets went on sale May 15 for $750 with proceeds benefiting Children’s Hospital of Orange County. For 2014, tickets were sold via Eventbrite instead of the Blizzard Store.[1] Blizzard once again sold a Virtual Ticket for live online streaming of all of the events in BlizzCon 2014.

Overwatch, a new class-based multi-player shooter, was announced on November 7, 2014.[37] The second part of Starcraft II, Legacy of the Void was announced. The first expansion pack for Hearthstone, Goblins vs. Gnomes, was also announced on the same day.[38] The first Hearthstone World Championship was hosted at the event.

The StarCraft II tournament was won by Lee "Life" Seung Hyun beating his teammate Kim "SOS" Yoo Jin. The World of Warcraft championship was won by team Bleached Bones. Hearthstone was won by James "Firebat" Kostesich and first official tournament in Heroes of the Storm was held at the event that was won by team Cloud 9.

The closing ceremony concert was opened by Level 90 Elite Tauren Chieftains (changed their name during the show to Elite Tauren Chieftains) and closed by Metallica.[39]

2015[edit]

For details about the Heroes of the Storm World Championship, see 2015 Heroes of the Storm World Championship.

On March 13, 2015 Blizzard Entertainment announced that BlizzCon 2015 would be held on November 6–7, 2015, at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California. The standard tickets cost $199 for the two-day event and were sold in two batches on April 15 and April 18, 2015.[40] Blizzard once again sold a Virtual Ticket for live online streaming of all of the events in BlizzCon 2015. In addition, for the first time, Virtual Ticket buyers have the option to purchase the merchandise bag that is given to BlizzCon attendees.[41] It was attended by over 25,00 people and over and the online broadcast was watched by over 10 million people.

Hearthstone's third adventure, League of Explorers, was announced on November 6, 2015, which was later released on November 12.[42] Overwatch was announced to have a Q2 2016 release date, later confirmed for May 24. The expansion World of Warcraft: Legion released its cinematic trailer and announced a release date on or before September 21, 2016, later confirmed for August 30. Also, the Warcraft (film) released its first official trailer and a release date of June 10, 2016. StarCraft II was announced to have upcoming single player mission packs, Nova Covert Ops, that each consist of three missions.

The 2015 Heroes of the Storm World Championship and the second Hearthstone World Championship were hosted at the event. Hearthstone was won by Sebastian "Ostkaka" Engwall and Heroes of the Storm was won by team Cloud 9 again. The StarCraft II tournament was won by Kim "SOS" Yoo Jin beating last year's winner Lee "Life" Seung Hyun. The World of Warcraft arena team championship was won by SK Gaming.

The closing ceremony was performed by Linkin Park, and this was the first BlizzCon where Elite Tauren Chieftains did not perform.[43]

2016[edit]

On April 6, 2016 Blizzard Entertainment announced that BlizzCon 2016 will be held on November 4–5, 2016, at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California. The standard tickets cost $199 for the two-day event and were sold in two batches on April 20 and April 23, 2016.[44] The convention will be held during Blizzard's 25th anniversary.

The gaming events at BlizzCon 2016 planned are the StarCraft II championship, the World of Warcraft arena championship, the Hearthstone championship and and the Heroes of the Storm fall championship.

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "BlizzCon 2014 Conquers Anaheim November 7 and 8". Blizzard. April 22, 2014. Retrieved April 22, 2014. 
  2. ^ "2012 Battle.net World Championship Event". Blizzard Entertainment. 2012-01-25. Retrieved 2013-01-26. 
  3. ^ a b Perry, Kat (2006-11-09). "BlizzCon 2005 - Part 1". techFEAR. p. 2. Retrieved 2007-02-06. [dead link]
  4. ^ a b BlizzCon 2008 opening ceremony speech, Michael Morhaime
  5. ^ "20,000 tickets sold for BlizzCon 2009; sold out in just eight minutes". Retrieved 28 October 2014. 
  6. ^ "Blizzard Entertainment's Blizzcon® 2013 Storms Anaheim November 8 and 9" (Press release). Blizzard Entertainment. February 19, 2013. Retrieved February 19, 2013. 
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  8. ^ "BlizzCon Has Left the Building". Blizzard Entertainment. 2006-10-31. Retrieved 2007-02-06. [dead link]
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  15. ^ BlizzCon '08 Coverage on Warcraft Radio
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  17. ^ WoW Insider.
  18. ^ "directv.com/blizzcon". DIRECTV. Retrieved 28 October 2014. 
  19. ^ BlizzCon 2009 Live
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  22. ^ "BlizzCon 2010 tickets sold out". 
  23. ^ StarCraft II Blizzcon Invitational
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  25. ^ "Tenacious D : Free Music : Free Audio : Download & Streaming : Internet Archive". Retrieved 28 October 2014. 
  26. ^ "GSL October Final in Anaheim". 
  27. ^ Video
  28. ^ "FOO FIGHTERS TO ROCK THE HOUSE AT BLIZZCON 2011". Retrieved 28 October 2014. 
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  30. ^ "Hearthstone Innkeeper's Invitational". Blizzard. October 10, 2013. Retrieved October 15, 2013. 
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  33. ^ "Blizzcon 2013, Tickets available April. World of Warcraft, Starcraft II, Titan". NeedToSee. April 4, 2013. Retrieved April 5, 2013. 
  34. ^ "BlizzCon Benefit Dinner Tickets Sold Out". Blizzard Entertainment. 2013-05-01. Retrieved 2013-05-02. 
  35. ^ "BlizzCon 2013 Virtual Ticket On Sale Now". Blizzard Entertainment. 12 September 2013. Retrieved 15 October 2013. 
  36. ^ "SoCal Punk Legends Blink-182 to close out Blizzcon 2013". Blizzard. October 31, 2013. Retrieved October 31, 2013. 
  37. ^ "BLIZZCON 2014: BLIZZARD'S NEW GAME IS 'OVERWATCH'". ign.com. Retrieved 2014-11-07. 
  38. ^ "Hearthstone's new expansion, Goblins vs. Gnomes, to add 120 cards in December". Pocket Gamer. 7 November 2014. 
  39. ^ "Metallica Performing Live at BlizzCon® 2014". Blizzard. October 21, 2014. Retrieved October 21, 2014. 
  40. ^ "BlizzCon® 2015 Conquers Anaheim November 6 and 7". Blizzard. March 13, 2015. Retrieved March 13, 2015. 
  41. ^ BlizzCon 2015 Virtual Ticket Now Available Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  42. ^ New Hearthstone Expansion The League of Explorers Announced Retrieved 6 November 2015.
  43. ^ Linkin Park to Bring Down the House at BlizzCon 2015 Retrieved 21 October 2015.
  44. ^ "BlizzCon 2016". blizzcon.com. Retrieved 2016-04-07. 

External links[edit]