Blizzcon 2012 Canceled

While Blizzard Entertainment’s official All-Things-Starcraft-Warcraft-Diablo gaming convention is such a big deal, it seemed odd that they would NOT have one this year. After all, the media gaming giant has Heart of the Swarm (Starcraft2 Expansion), Mists of Pandaria (World of Warcraft Expansion) and Diablo 3 all being released this year. But in a side note in a news post about the 2012 World Championship event in Asia later this year, it was announced that they were skipping out on the wildly popular convention for 2012.

GamingBlend quotes the release:

“We’re excited to be showcasing Blizzard eSports on a truly global stage this year. We’re also heavily focused on getting Diablo III, [World of Warcraft expansion] Mists of Pandaria, and [Starcraft II expansion] Heart of the Swarm into players’ hands as soon as possible. In light of our jam-packed schedule, we’ve decided to hold the next BlizzCon in 2013.”

This baffles my mind. I know they said they want to focus on getting those games out this year so they are not doing the convention, but I don’t see the connection.

There is very little overlap of the people involved in making the convention happen and the people involved in actually finishing the game. One weekend off is not going to delay the game anymore than we already assume it will be!

Blizzard does not have a great track record for reaching initial release dates (Diablo3 was shown off at the last 4 years of Blizzcon) so if it did get shoved back no one is going to be surprised.

Maybe this is one of those things where an executive looked at the bank account and said “We don’t need the money” and a PR guy looked at all the online buzz about these products and agreed while noticing “We don’t need to advertise”

They will use Blizzcon on the years they have nothing to release to keep the buzz alive!


11 Responses to Blizzcon 2012 Canceled

  1. Wouldn't you have to announce something to happen in the first place to cancel it? BlizzCon 2012 was never announced, sooo………

  2. "There is very little overlap of the people involved in making the convention happen and the people involved in actually finishing the game. One weekend off is not going to delay the game anymore than we already assume it will be!"

    Really? You think all the online swag and that nifty streaming UI didn't take up blizzard resources? Pfft. And you call yourself a geek.

    • Conventions are not run by the game developers themselves. A small handful may be on hand for panels and presentations, but the real grunt workers that are getting this out in time are not going to be missing any time at work because of this convention.

      The people in the PR department handle the conventions. Not programmers, designers etc.

      • You are forgetting the game material that is specifically produced for PR.

        A lot of the game companies work hard to produce game demos, gameplay trailers and other content JUST FOR the events like E3 or VGA.

        They do their best to bring that few minutes of gameplay to a polished, finished project even when the project lifecycle itself is nowhere near getting finished. It is crazy.

        This puts a lot of stress and extracurricular work on the programmers, designers, testers… everyone.

        Most of the time, they are trying to finish a product that is vastly different from what they were originally working on and usually, when the event is over, all that work goes to the bin.

  3. But if you think about it, they have nothing new to announce. If all of their franchises are getting something released in 2012, and no new developments are coming with regards to other projects, then there is no real point in having Blizzcon.

    Blizzard does have a point. They want to get all of their projects out of the way this year and satisfy their fans. Cut them some slack, enjoy the games they are (hopefully) going to release in 2012, and get excited for the 2013 Blizzcon and what suprises may happen.

  4. By announcing they aren't holding a convention this year, they get the same amount of press from bloggers pontificating why they aren't having a convention as they would about bloggers announcing convention details. PR win.

  5. Like Kellic pointed out this isn't a situation where they'll simply pull a few PR guys for the weekend. Blizzcon is a huge undertaking and requires months of planning. It does require the time of the artists and programer as they make digital extras for attendees. It does require the time of the development team as they prepare what they can/are willing to share with the masses about the games in development. They need to get all of the 'celeb' developers down there to speak.

    Most importantly though Blizz has nothing worth announcing that they can't already annouce through their forums. Expansion details for WoW will be leaked onto MMO-champion before a blizz con event anyway. Heart of the Swarm and Diablo III are nearing release so there's no need to let out more info on them. Project Titan is the only thing they've got that that would be a large announcement but I'm assuming they've either got another venue in mind for it's announcement or are not announcing it at all this year. They're probably better off keeping blizzcon exciting and interesting than trying to wring a bit of extra income out of the event when they've got nothing to say. That way it will continue to draw crowds and be relevant.

    Of course if this helps them get the games out any sooner (I don't see it helping THAT much) then all the better. Blizz is known for long development cycles but that doesn't mean the fans enjoy the wait. Getting the games out is really where they'll get the best PR.

  6. Pshaw nailed it. I ran events like this for years for other game companies.

    There is vast overlap. Designers and programmers end up pulling extra hours to make the event work. Any devs/designers in attendance end up working their normal hours plus the weekend. So now that you've worked them 7-10 days straight, they'll want time off.

    In short, events like this are mass disruptions to the usual work schedule. If existing programs are in a crunch or behind schedule, events like this further push time tables back.. If staff are already pulling extra hours, events like this kill them.

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