Mike Morhaime noted two big details about BlizzCon during his Opening Ceremony speech. The first is that this is the eleventh BlizzCon. The second is that the show, which has grown with the Anaheim Convention Center’s own growth, is 30,000+ in 2017. Those are amazing feats for a convention that, let’s be honest here, was initially little more than World of WarcraftCon. Lorehound has been covering the event since its inception in 2010, and I have personally been here a few years before as a fan initially, and then as press. To put it lightly, the convention is completely different than the early years.
Pick that brain of yours and you’ll be able to find any number of major changes. Here’s what I got off the top of my head:
- Millions of people watched the Opening Ceremony for free and many of those will watch the rest of the show via livestream. This requires a huge production crew and equipment presence.
- There are more game universes to cover than there are halls in the convention center.
- Numerous eSports world championships funnel to BlizzCon instead of it being a potential stop.
- Multiple panels, competitions and community events happen at once.
- Your wallet is assaulted by the Blizzard Store.
- Livecoverage is no longer frowned upon.
- WiFi is free!
I think the only constant is how impossible it is to get tickets. BlizzCon is now an engine for Blizzard’s marketing team, yet still remaining about the massive community the game developer has fostered. The epicenter of its year despite now appearing at different conventions around the world. The company manages to walk the line of fanservice and marketing expertly. All of this is awesome. For the company, for the fans, and for gamedom. But man, it’s pretty difficult to cover with our small attack squad! Drop us a line if you’d like to help out!