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!)