The official BlizzCon logo
|Venue||Anaheim Convention Center|
|Attendance||~25000 in 2015|
|Organized by||Blizzard Entertainment|
BlizzCon is a video game convention held by Blizzard Entertainment to promote its major franchises Warcraft, StarCraft, Diablo, Heroes of the Storm and Overwatch. They are held since October 2005 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California. 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 was the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational, held outside the US until 2008.
Tickets for the first BlizzCon were $50 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 and for 2013 the price remained at $175. For 2014, the price was raised to $199 and the BlizzCon Benefit Dinner went from $500 to $750, which includes admission. For 2015 and 2016, the prices remained at $199 for admission and $750 for the benefit dinner.
BlizzCon was not held in 2012.
|Year||Dates||Number of attendees (approx.)|
Attendees were able to try one of the two new playable races, the Blood Elves, for upcoming expansion based in Outland which was released as World of Warcraft: 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.
StarCraft II was available for 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 and it was available to play.
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.
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 to test during 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.
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. Official Blizzard fansite WoW Radio broadcast live audio via SHOUTcast.
For the closing ceremonies on Saturday, comedians Kyle Kinane and Patton Oswalt performed. The closing ceremony was performed by Video Games Live, playing arrangements from all of the Blizzard games, and a 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 four halls (increased from three) of space available. Blizzard implemented a new system designed to make buying tickets easier. 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 tickets.
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. 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.
The third expansion, World of Warcraft: Cataclysm was announced. Diablo III, StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty were available to play.
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. Diablo III, StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty and World of Warcraft: Cataclysm were playable.
Similar to 2009, BlizzCon 2010 was available live via an online broadcast on the "BlizzCon Virtual Ticket". The 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.
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. |Diablo III, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria were playable. DirecTV once again offered both days of BlizzCon 2010 as a PPV event.
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 for the closing ceremony.
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.
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 gaming events included the finals of the StarCraft II 2013 World Championship Series as well as the Hearthstone Innkeeper's Invitational, a Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft tournament featuring a handful of prominent Twitch.tv streamers. The StarCraft II competition was won by Kim Yoo Jin "SOS", World of Warcraft arena was won by team Skill-Capped and Hearthstone was won by Dan "Artosis" Stemkoski.
The tickets 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, this included admission. For 2014, tickets were sold via Eventbrite instead of the Blizzard Store. Blizzard once again sold a Virtual Ticket for live online streaming of all of the events.
Overwatch, a new class-based multi-player shooter, was announced on November 7, 2014. The third 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. 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 tickets went on sale on April 15 and 18 using Eventbrite, and were sold out nearly instantly. Blizzard once again sold a Virtual Ticket for live online streaming of all of the events held at BlizzCon. The convention's 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. 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 and was playable. The Warcraft (film) released its first official trailer and revealed its release date of June 10, 2016. StarCraft II was announced to have upcoming single player mission packs, Nova Covert Ops, which 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 tickets were sold on April 20 and 23 using the ticketing service Universe. Blizzard sold a Virtual Ticket for live online streaming of all of the eSports events and major panels, remaining at the $39.99 price. Other panels and interviews in smaller rooms were not included for streaming.
In September 2016, Blizzard Entertainment released a sneak peek at the BlizzCon 2016 in-game item rewards and offered for the first time the "goody bag", normally only for physical attendees, was offered for sale to virtual ticket holders.
The fourth expansion for Hearthstone, Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, was announced on November 4, 2016, and was later released on December 1st. 2016.
Overwatch will add the hero Sombra, Blizzard will create an official eSports league for Overwatch, Diablo III will include a remake of Diablo and the necromancer hero class will be added in a DLC for Diablo III.
The gaming events at BlizzCon 2016 include the StarCraft II championship, the World of Warcraft arena championship, the Hearthstone third world championship, the Heroes of the Storm fall championship, and the Overwatch World Cup.
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