BlizzCon 2011 will soon be upon us! While the article below was written for issue #3 of the World of Warcraft Official Magazine, which was released prior to BlizzCon 2010, I feel the message is still very relevant. Read on to discover just why we, your friendly Blizzard community managers, value each and every BlizzCon event we host. We hope to see some of you at this year’s show!
We're now rapidly approaching our fifth BlizzCon, and are as excited as ever to share our enthusiasm for game development with all attendees, as well as those watching on the Internet and television the world over. In years past we've used this convention as a platform to announce each new World of Warcraft expansion, share the latest developments on existing games, lift the veil on the work we do behind company doors, host live tournaments, and provide hours of entertainment by well-known comedians and musical acts. With each BlizzCon we've stepped up our game, increasing the size, scope, and accessibility of the festivities; and each time the global demand for tickets has increased. But, there's one key aspect of the event uniquely special to us — it's become an incredible avenue for Blizzard gamers to unite under one roof.
For community managers, there's no greater pleasure than watching a large group of gamers come together in a lively social environment. With BlizzCon now on the radar of so many players, we watch every year as friends, family, guildmates, and Arena teams make their arrangements to come together for one intense weekend. The concept is pretty simple. We make the games, we rent the venue, and we provide the atmosphere and entertainment. What makes BlizzCon the catalyst for great times and memories, though, is the community, which comes together to celebrate the countless bonds which have been formed within the games.
Long before BlizzCon, players form connections on our forums, planning to take their social gaming through a quantum leap into the real world. In the industry, this is often referred to as 'awesome.' By the time we hit the week of the convention, we see hundreds of players meeting up to enjoy the temperate Southern California vibe.
As the hundreds of Blizzard Entertainment staff arrive that first morning, eager to get things going, it's been humbling to witness attendees lined up by the thousands. We've cruised down the trail of people each year with cameras rolling, and the reactions we get are remarkable. Everyone is soon gathered for opening ceremonies and developer panels, cheering, hollering, laughing, clapping, and sometimes hilariously booing along with the events on each stage. Some come from around the world to compete, more to sample upcoming titles or content; some come to participate in — or just enjoy — the many contests held for the show. Jay Mohr riding a motorized turtle two years back was priceless, as was Ozzy closing down the house last year. And we can't forget the after-parties that extend the fun until the wee hours.
BlizzCon is a celebration of the Blizzard community, an event that allows us to experience their enthusiasm first-hand. Sure, we're extremely passionate about making great games, but it's the community that makes the play experience epic. We look forward to BlizzCon 2010 and hopefully many more to come. We'll see you soon!
Zarhym is a community manager and chattering skull who has recently been troubled by his fish unexpectedly spawning offspring and overcrowding his tank.