The Screams of a Thousand Nerds: Blizzcon Cancelled in 2012

My apologies for a lack of polish on this post, I woke up literally 30 minutes ago.

While announcing that Blizzard would be holding a Battle.net competition in Asia (I presume a gaming tournament for Warcraft 3, Starcraft II and possibly some form of World of Warcraft arenas), it lightly spun the news that Blizzcon would not be happening until 2013. They said this is because of a “jam-packed” schedule that, in my mind, includes Mists of Pandaria, releasing Diablo 3 earlier in the year as well as necessary work on Titan. That’s all well and good, I suppose. My cynical nature feels that Blizzard, which always operates Blizzcon at a revenue loss, felt that they’d be taking too much of a hit this year. Combined with so much money sunk into the year’s assumed gaming title releases, this makes some sense even if it is depressing. I do not announce the end of the world, especially not where it concerns something so mortal as gaming, but not having a community outlet like Blizzcon is a blow to my outlook this year.

Some of you may recall that I even started blogging shortly before Blizzcon last year; if it wasn’t apparent to you then, I’d hope you’d understand now how awesome and fun Blizzcon is for me. This is ultimately why the news that Blizzcon is being put off for a year is so saddening to me. The convention is a giant place for relaxation but mostly for community. Not only do I get to see guildies, but I can party with website staff I’ve grown to read every day, bloggers I’ve connected with and even now fans. Blizzcon means a lot to us because it is where we get to share our experiences as Internet People in a real life, social environment. We get to scream at new World of Warcraft releases, to meet people like Zarhym, and generally bathe in all of the nerd stink (literal and metaphorical.) It brings us closer together when most of us are all so far apart, even when we play video games. World of Warcraft, and in a larger way, Blizzard, made it possible so that we could build social structures that weren’t just someone down the street, but take down Lich King with someone possibly halfway across the world. Bringing that distance to a minute fraction when you can daps server buddies or raid team crews is heady and intense. Blizzcon is a social touchstone for us. I cannot impress that enough.

Sure, will it be back next year? Indubitably. But judging by all of the Twitter responses to the news even a half hour after it was subtly dropped? There’s a gaping hole right now in our sense of community and I’m not sure what’s going to happen until 2013. However, despite Blizzard’s best attempts to recoup and regather, we will still persist. I have no doubt in my mind that this year may be the year that fans do what has always come naturally to them and just do shit themselves. Sure, it won’t include a free in-game pet or statue, but it will be just as meaningful.

(And if you do do something, remember to invite me!)

8 Responses

  1. I think, with three games prepped and ready to be released soon(tm) [this year, we cross our fingers] in the “Mists of Pandaria” expansion for World of Warcraft, Diablo 3 and possibly the “Heart of the Swarm” expansion for Starcraft 2, it makes sense that the company-run fan event gets the axe.

    The depressing thing isn’t that “Oh no, Blizzard won’t showcase anything at us” it’s “I really wanted to have an excuse to meet up with a whole truckload of friends I’ve met in WoW, through twitter, or otherwise wouldn’t get a chance to see in the day to day life.”

    People are proffering PAX in Seattle as an alternative, but for a lot of people who feel skittish about supporting Penny Arcade at ALL because of their shit attitudes in a number of areas, that’s NOT an option at all.

    The sadness isn’t “oh no Blizzard nerfing fun” it’s “wait, where do we go to hang out with people we’ve bonded with and have genuine, real heartfelt ties to that started in a virtual arena?” and there’s no good answers to that.

    • With all due respect, Snack, Blizzard has been every bit as terrible as the PAX guys. Remember the Cannibal Corpse video at the last Blizzcon? Or the horrible body dimorphism of every female character ever? Or the Real ID “hey I’m a white dude on the internet and I don’t see the problem here” official corporate attitude? Or how they mocked the girl at last year’s Blizzcon who asked about putting a GLBT character in the game?

      It makes no sense to say you won’t go to PAX, but to support Blizzard. I’ve been to PAX for the last three years, and the convention is about 45% women (way more than at Blizzcon, which I have also attended), has no booth babes, and is very friendly. I mean, hey, don’t go if you don’t wanna go, but Blizzard is really no better.

      • Oh, I intend to go to PAX; and further, I expect to enjoy myself. I have been to two in the past three years (Prime, at least) and had fun because I met with people I game with on the internet, or talk with via twitter.

        But, I’m not going to ask someone to “just get over it” if they have moral qualms about going to PAX because it’s Penny Arcade.

        Which is my point: if they don’t want to go, they don’t have to go, but they will be missed.

  2. It cannot be emphasized enough: cons like this take a HUGE bite out of a company’s time budget. Everybody is usually involved to some extent. They don’t just get someone to come in and set stuff up and then suddenly it’s a con. It is a hideous amount of work.

    My company does a similar event for our customers every year, and prep work for this small (a few hundred attendees) event starts five months ahead of time. That’s time we aren’t putting into product, issue resolutions, etc.

    So, considering the year’s schedule, yeah, this makes a lot of sense. If they have Blizzcon, something else is going to have to slip, because there just aren’t that many hours in the day!

    (The sad thing? Even with all that lead time … yeah … Corpsegrinder. Totally flubbed that one.)

  3. Well said. I’ve heard enough of “if there are no big announcements then there is no point in having it” or “nobody meets up with friends because it is too hard to get tickets.”

    But it is a huge event and like any such event it does take a chunk out of everybody’s time. Here is hoping for next year.

  4. Pingback: WoW Weekly Wrapup #4 « Trocar ganked you!

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