The Blizzcon Retrospective
Blizzcon, the place were developers and fans of all things Blizzard Entertainment gather to geek-out about all the new content releasing in the near future. Excitement and worry filled the Anaheim Convention Center as fans gathered around to hear what Blizzard would unfold. Questions were asked: How will the games I love change and expand? Who will be crowned as champions of Blizzcon in the various esports? Wondering how Blizzard would wow us this year, no matter the updates that come out, Blizzcon amped-up the excitement to an all-time high.
I am a Blizzard fanboy, have been for a majority of my short lifespan. Starting with the gem that is Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne and experiencing the worlds that surround that lore, touching upon each of the franchises and enjoying my time in each. Needless to say, Blizzcon is always one of my biggest events of the year. The seizing restraints of awkwardness are suddenly released as one quickly realizes that everyone is equally excited to walk by the impressive stages and convention floors.
This year was a tremendous Blizzcon, upstaging previous years. Many shocking and exciting announcements were made. With the exception of the Diablo franchise getting shafted, it was one of the best years in terms of content. All the development teams brought their A-game for announcements, releasing remarkable spectacles for all fans watching. The opening ceremony was made more epic with the inclusion of many different stages from which developers gave their announcements, involving the 35,000 people attended.
The biggest announcement, in my eyes, involved World of Warcraft. Although the cinematic for the new expansion was exciting, the one announcement that stood out was World of Warcraft Classic. Everyone’s favorite flavor of vanilla returns to the MMO that defined the genre. As a late bloomer in the world of Blizzard, this is an amazing opportunity for me to live the vanilla experience that many have done before me.
The panels and signing tables presented a chance to talk with the people behind the games. Many panels that interested me delved into the initial creation of the titles, delineating their history to the present day. The other panels were that of lore creation: the process of fabricating a captivating and enriching story. Blizzcon is all about fans and developers coming together and geeking-out about what they love.
The highlight from my Blizzcon experience is that of the Overwatch World Cup. Randomly assorted members of teams, representing a number of Countries, came together and competed in a game they love. Walking into the ovoid dome that is the Overwatch Arena and gazing across to see thousands of eager watchers awaiting the intense matches was hype. That’s the one word that accurately portrays entering that stadium. Exuding from each individual passerby was a sense of hopefulness and raw excitement that made the whole experience feel epic. One could not hope but to applaud every play as they eagerly watched certain teams fail their executions. A rigorous set of matches was beheld even though there was no real shocker for the champions.
The experience reached its peak with the incredible amount of support provided by the Overwatch development team. Refocusing the format of esports viewing created a readily available game sense for the casual gamer that was also respected by the professional. Explosions of team colors (provided by the team’s color palettes) made it very easy to follow the unfolding action.
The reason Blizzard Entertainment remains one of the top contenders in the gaming market is not because it hosts its own convention, or creates fun and enjoyable games, it’s the respect that Blizzard shows its fans. Through listening to feedback and improving on mistakes, the developers at Blizzard become easier to connect with. All fuel within the company goes to creating a grand and epic experience for the fans. One might say that it is a decision made with the intention of gaining a huge profit, though the resources and expenses of the whole fare may prove otherwise. Sure, in business, profit comes first. But the true ideal that makes Blizzcon (and furthermore Blizzard Entertainment) great is their dedication to their fans.
I am a Blizzard fanboy, have been for a long time, and will continue to be. Blizzcon, as an experience, is a rare magic that few get to experience. I am very proud of my constant attendance. The feeling of walking the floors and being in awe of the announcements is unforgettable. This year has been one of the best Blizzcons to date, and my thanks go to all the fans who attended and all the employees at Blizzard for putting on a grand showcase.