Last updated

The official BlizzCon logo
Genre Video games
Venue Anaheim Convention Center
Location(s) Anaheim, California
CountryUnited States
Attendance~40,000 in 2018
Organized by Blizzard Entertainment
Filing statusCorporate

BlizzCon is an annual gaming convention held by Blizzard Entertainment to promote its major franchises Warcraft , StarCraft , Diablo , Hearthstone , Heroes of the Storm and Overwatch . The first BlizzCon was held in October 2005 and since then all of conventions have been held at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California, in the same metropolitan area as Blizzard's headquarters in Irvine. The convention features game-related announcements, previews of upcoming Blizzard Entertainment games and content, Q&A sessions and panels, costume contests and playable versions of various Blizzard games. The closing night has featured concerts by The Offspring, Tenacious D, Foo Fighters, Ozzy Osbourne, Blink-182, Metallica, Linkin Park, "Weird Al" Yankovic, and Muse. A similar event was the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational, held outside the U.S. from 2004–2008.

A gaming convention is a gathering centered on role-playing games, collectible card games, miniatures wargames, board games, video games, or other types of games. These conventions are typically two or three days long, and often held at either a university or in a convention center hotel.

Blizzard Entertainment video game publisher and developer

Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. is an American video game developer and publisher based in Irvine, California, and is a subsidiary of the American company Activision Blizzard. The company was founded on February 8, 1991, under the name Silicon & Synapse, Inc. by three graduates of the University of California, Los Angeles: Michael Morhaime, Frank Pearce and Allen Adham. The company originally concentrated on the creation of game ports for other studios' games before beginning development of their own software in 1993 with games like Rock n' Roll Racing and The Lost Vikings. In 1994 the company became Chaos Studios, Inc., then Blizzard Entertainment after being acquired by distributor Davidson & Associates.

Warcraft is a franchise of video games, novels, and other media created by Blizzard Entertainment. The series is made up of five core games: Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness, Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, World of Warcraft, and Hearthstone. The first three of these core games are in the real-time strategy genre, where opposing players command virtual armies in battle against each other or a computer-controlled enemy. The fourth and best-selling title of the franchise is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), where players control their character and interact with each other in a virtual world. The most recent title is Hearthstone, a digital collectible card game.



Tickets for the first BlizzCon were US$50 for admission to both days of activities. For the 2007 and 2008 events, prices were $100. In 2009, the price was raised to $125. For 2010, the price was raised to $150. For 2011, the price was raised to $175 and for 2013 the price remained at $175. [1] For 2014, the price was raised to $199 and the BlizzCon Benefit Dinner went from $500 to $750, which includes admission. [2] From 2015 to 2018, the prices have remained at the 2014 level. The ticket price includes a goody bag that contains items such as in-game prizes, beta keys for upcoming Blizzard games and exclusive Blizzard paraphernalia.

Promotional merchandise promotional items — toys, collectables, souvenirs and household products — that are linked to a product, and often require box tops, tokens or proofs of purchase to acquire

Promotional merchandise is products branded with a logo or slogan and distributed at little or no cost to promote a brand, corporate identity, or event. Such products, which are often informally called swag or schwag or tchotchkes or freebies are used in marketing and sales. They are given away or sold at a loss to promote a company, corporate image, brand, or event. They are often distributed as handouts at trade shows, at conferences, on sales calls, and as bonus items in shipped orders. They are often used in guerrilla marketing campaigns.

BlizzCon was not held in 2006 or 2012. [3]

BlizzCon events

YearDatesNumber of attendees (approx.)Closing CeremoniesTicket Price (USD)Virtual Ticket Price (USD)
2005October 28–298,000 [4] The Offspring, Christian Finnegan, L60ETC50N/A
2006Not held
2007August 3–413,000 Video Games Live, Jay Mohr, L70ETC100N/A
2008October 10–1115,000 [5] Video Games Live, Patton Oswalt, Kyle Kinane, L70ETC100N/A
2009August 21–2220,000 [6] Ozzy Osbourne 12539.95
2010October 22–2327,000 Tenacious D, Dave Grohl 15039.99
2011October 21–2226,000 Foo Fighters, TAFKL80ETC/L90ETC17539.99
2012Not held
2013November 8–926,000 Blink 182 17539.99
2014November 7–826,000 Metallica, L90ETC/Elite Tauren Chieftains19939.99
2015November 6–725,000 Linkin Park 19939.99
2016November 4–527,000+ "Weird Al" Yankovic 19939.99
2017November 3–435,000+ Muse 19939.99
2018November 2–340,000+ [7] [8] Train, Lindsey Stirling, Kristian Nairn 19949.99



Attendees were able to try one of the two new playable races, the Blood Elves, for upcoming expansion based in Outland which was released as World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade in 2007. Playable demos of the single and multiplayer modes of the since cancelled Starcraft: Ghost were available. A songwriting competition was judged by Jonathan Davis of Korn.

<i>World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade</i> expansion set for the MMORPG World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade is the first expansion set for the MMORPG World of Warcraft. It was released on January 16, 2007 at local midnight in Europe and North America, selling nearly 2.4 million copies on release day alone and making it, at the time, the fastest-selling PC game released at that point. Approximately 3.53 million copies were sold in the first month of release, including 1.9 million in North America, over 100,000 copies in Australasia, and nearly 1.6 million in Europe.

Jonathan Davis American singer and musician

Jonathan Howsmon Davis, also known as JD, JDevil, or J Devil, is an American singer and musician. He is best known as the lead vocalist and frontman of the nu metal band Korn.

Korn American nu-metal band

Korn is an American nu metal band from Bakersfield, California, formed in 1993. The band is notable for pioneering the nu metal genre and bringing it into the mainstream.

Level 60 Elite Tauren Chieftain, comedian Christian Finnegan, and The Offspring performed at the closing concert. [9]

Christian Finnegan American comedian

Fletcher Christian Finnegan, better known as Christian Finnegan, is an American stand-up comedian, writer and actor based in New York City.

The Offspring American punk band

The Offspring is an American rock band from Garden Grove, California, formed in 1984. Originally formed under the name Manic Subsidal, the band has consisted of lead vocalist and guitarist Bryan "Dexter" Holland, bassist Greg K., guitarist Kevin "Noodles" Wasserman and drummer Pete Parada since 2007. Over the course of their 35-year career, they have released nine studio albums and experienced several lineup changes, including switching drummers. Their longest-serving drummer was Ron Welty, who replaced original drummer James Lilja in 1987, and stayed with the band for 16 years; he was replaced by Atom Willard in 2003, and then four years later by Parada.


The opening ceremony at the 2007 BlizzCon BlizzCon opening ceremony.jpg
The opening ceremony at the 2007 BlizzCon

StarCraft II was available for play, as single player or 2v2 as Terran or Protoss. [10] [11] Much of the game was revealed and explained as well as Q&A with attendees. The Zerg race was, however, not unveiled at that time. [12] The second expansion to World of Warcraft, titled Wrath of the Lich King , was officially announced and it was available to play. [13]

<i>StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty</i> Real-time strategy game from the year 2010

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is a science fiction real-time strategy video game developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment. It was released worldwide in July 2010 for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. A sequel to the 1998 video game StarCraft and its expansion set Brood War, the game is split into three installments: the base game with the subtitle Wings of Liberty, an expansion pack Heart of the Swarm, and a stand-alone expansion pack Legacy of the Void. In March of 2016, a campaign pack called StarCraft II: Nova Covert Ops was also released.

<i>World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King</i> 2008 video game expansion

World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King is the second expansion set for the massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) World of Warcraft, following The Burning Crusade. It launched on November 13, 2008 and sold 2.8 million copies within the first day, making it the fastest selling computer game of all time released at that point. The game added a substantial amount of new content into the game world, including the new continent of Northrend, home of the eponymous Lich King and his undead minions. In order to advance through Northrend, players are required to reach at least level 68 and the level cap for the expansion is 80. The first hero class was introduced, the Death Knight, that starts at level 55.

Comedian Jay Mohr entertained at the closing ceremony followed by Level 70 Elite Tauren Chieftain (who changed their name to reflect the new level cap in The Burning Crusade) alongside Video Games Live performing at the closing concert. [14]

Jay Mohr American actor and comedian

Jon Ferguson Cox "Jay" Mohr is an American actor, comedian and radio host. He is known for his role as Professor Rick Payne in the TV series Ghost Whisperer (2006–2008), the title role in the CBS sitcom Gary Unmarried (2008–2010), as a featured cast member on the sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live (1993–1995) and the back-stabbing sports agent Bob Sugar in Jerry Maguire (1996). Since making his feature film debut with Jerry Maguire, he has appeared in the films Suicide Kings (1997), Picture Perfect (1997), Paulie (1998), Small Soldiers (1998), The Adventures of Pluto Nash (2002), Are We There Yet? (2005), Street Kings (2008), Hereafter (2010) and The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013).

Video Games Live

Video Games Live (VGL) is a concert series created by Tommy Tallarico and originally founded by Tallarico and Jack Wall. The concerts consist of segments of video game music performed by a live orchestra with video footage and synchronized lighting and effects, as well as several interactive segments with the audience. Incorporated in 2002, Video Games Live has performed over 420 shows internationally.


Fan in Thorim costume Thorim.jpg
Fan in Thorim costume

In the opening ceremonies, Blizzard president Michael Morhaime revealed the third playable class for Diablo III: the Wizard, as well as the major announcement that Starcraft II would be separated into three games.

Playable versions of Diablo III , StarCraft II , and World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King were available to test during the convention. As well, there were tournaments and competitions for the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game, World of Warcraft miniatures game, StarCraft , StarCraft II, Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, and World of Warcraft arena. The Zerg race was now playable in the StarCraft II demos.

BlizzCon 2008 was broadcast live on both days as a PPV event on DirecTV for US viewers only, for eight hours per day in high definition. [15] Official Blizzard fansite WoW Radio broadcast live audio via SHOUTcast. [16]

For the closing ceremonies on Saturday, comedians Kyle Kinane and Patton Oswalt performed. The closing concert was performed by Video Games Live, playing arrangements from all of the Blizzard games, and a performance including the Wrath of the Lich King music.


Blizzcon 2009 at the Anaheim Convention Center Blizzcon conv center.jpg
Blizzcon 2009 at the Anaheim Convention Center

In an attempt to reduce frustrations linked to lack of ticket availability for previous BlizzCons, there were four halls (increased from three) of space available. Blizzard implemented a new system designed to make buying tickets easier. The new system implemented an online queue, effectively creating an organized online "line" for anyone who wants to purchase tickets, an improvement on 2008's chaotic sale of tickets. [17]

Ozzy Osbourne at BlizzCon 2009 Ozzy Osbourne BlizzCon 2009.jpg
Ozzy Osbourne at BlizzCon 2009

As in 2008, DirecTV carried both days of BlizzCon 2009 as a PPV event ($39.95 for both days) for eight hours per day in both standard and high definition. All BlizzCon 2009 Pay Per View event purchasers received an exclusive "Grunty the Murloc Marine" World of Warcraft in-game pet. [18] and had access to the online stream for no additional cost. New in 2009, BlizzCon was broadcast live via an internet stream, calling it a "Virtual Ticket". The site covered both days of the convention featuring exclusive interviews and commentary, main stage presentations including the opening ceremony and tournament coverage with team highlights. All purchasers received an exclusive "Grunty the Murloc Marine" World of Warcraft in-game pet. [19]

The third expansion, World of Warcraft: Cataclysm was announced. Diablo III, StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty were available to play.

Ozzy Osbourne performed for the closing concert. [20]



Resto Druid in Tree Form at Blizzcon 2010 Resto Druid.JPG
Resto Druid in Tree Form at Blizzcon 2010

The fifth playable Diablo III class was revealed to be the Demon Hunter and the StarCraft II modification called "Blizzard DotA" was presented, which later evolved into Heroes of the Storm . Diablo III, StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty and World of Warcraft: Cataclysm were playable.

Tenacious D at Blizzcon 2010 Tenacious D at BlizzCon.JPG
Tenacious D at Blizzcon 2010

Similar to 2009, BlizzCon 2010 was available live via an online broadcast on the "BlizzCon Virtual Ticket". The Virtual Ticket provided four live feeds from the convention floor, offering 50+ hours of HD BlizzCon programming. DirecTV again offered both days of BlizzCon 2010 as a PPV event ($39.95 USD for both days) for ten hours per day in both standard and high definition.

Korean pro-gamer MVP_Genius won the StarCraft II Blizzcon Invitational. [21] The vinyl record Revolution Overdrive: Songs of Liberty was released for the event.

Tenacious D (Jack Black/Kyle Gass) played for the closing concert with Dave Grohl. [22] Recordings of the event were released for free as part of the Live Music Archive. [23]


The opening ceremony showcased a new Diablo III cinematic trailer titled "The Black Soulstone", a StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm reveal trailer showcasing new units and abilities, a "Blizzard DOTA" trailer for a new game made from StarCraft II and the reveal of World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria , a new expansion for World of Warcraft . Diablo III, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm , and World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria were playable. DirecTV once again offered both days of BlizzCon 2011 as a PPV event.

The GOMTV Global Starcraft II League October final match took place in Anaheim alongside BlizzCon. [24] Moon "MMA" Sung Won beat Jeong "Mvp" Jong Hyeon, 4-1.

The closing concert featured a performance from Blizzard's own in-house band, The Artist Formerly Known as Level 80 Elite Tauren Chieftains (TAFKL80ETC), who changed their name mid-concert to Level 90 Elite Tauren Chieftains (L90ETC). The Foo Fighters performed for the closing concert. [25]


Blizzcon 2013 was announced to be held on November 8 and 9 in Anaheim. [26] The tickets were sold in two batches, on April 24 and 27, 2013, and both batches quickly sold out. [27] Blizzard also sold special tickets that include access to a pre-Blizzcon Benefit Dinner. These limited tickets cost $500 each, with all money collected from the pre-Blizzcon Benefit Dinner being donated to Children's Hospital of Orange County, CA. [28] [29] Blizzard once again sold a Virtual Ticket for live online streaming of all of the events in BlizzCon 2013. [30]

The Heroes of the Storm "Cinematic Trailer" was presented with an alpha version of the game available for playing. Hearthstone's' was announced to begin beta testing and that the game would be released on iOS and Android. The fifth expansion to World of Warcraft, Warlords of Draenor, was officially announced and a trailer was shown. The Warcraft film concept art was shown. Diablo III: Reaper of Souls was announced to be released on PC and PS4.

The gaming events included the finals of the 2013 StarCraft II World Championship Series [31] as well as the Hearthstone Innkeeper's Invitational, a Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft tournament featuring a handful of prominent streamers. [32] The StarCraft II competition was won by Kim "sOs" Yoo-jin, World of Warcraft arena was won by team Skill-Capped and Hearthstone was won by Dan "Artosis" Stemkoski.

The closing concert was performed by Blink-182. [33]


Life won the BlizzCon 2014 StarCraft II tournament. Life BlizzCon 2014 2.jpg
Life won the BlizzCon 2014 StarCraft II tournament.

The tickets went on sale May 7 and 10, 2014. In addition, a limited number of tickets went on sale May 15 for $750 with proceeds benefiting Children's Hospital of Orange County, this included admission. For 2014, tickets were sold via Eventbrite instead of the Blizzard Store. [2] Blizzard once again sold a Virtual Ticket for live online streaming of all of the events.

Overwatch , a new class-based multi-player shooter, was announced on November 7, 2014. [34] The third part of Starcraft II, Legacy of the Void was announced. The first expansion pack for Hearthstone , Goblins vs. Gnomes, was also announced on the same day. [35] The first Hearthstone World Championship was hosted at the event.

The 2014 StarCraft II World Championship Series Global Finals was won by Lee "Life" Seung Hyun beating Mun "MMA" Seong Won. The World of Warcraft championship was won by team Bleached Bones. Hearthstone was won by James "Firebat" Kostesich and first official tournament in Heroes of the Storm was held at the event that was won by team Cloud 9.

The closing ceremony concert was opened by Level 90 Elite Tauren Chieftains (changed their name during the show to Elite Tauren Chieftains) and closed by Metallica. [36]


Fan in Illidan costume Illidan Costume.JPG
Fan in Illidan costume

The tickets went on sale on April 15 and 18 using Eventbrite, and were sold out nearly instantly. Blizzard once again sold a Virtual Ticket for live online streaming of all of the events held at BlizzCon. The convention's online broadcast was watched by over 10 million people.

Hearthstone's third adventure, League of Explorers, was announced on November 6, 2015, which was later released on November 12. [37] Overwatch was announced to have a Q2 2016 release date, later confirmed for May 24. The expansion World of Warcraft: Legion released its cinematic trailer and announced a release date on or before September 21, 2016 and was playable. The Warcraft (film) released its first official trailer and revealed its release date of June 10, 2016. StarCraft II was announced to have upcoming single player mission packs, Nova Covert Ops , which each consist of three missions.

The 2015 Heroes of the Storm World Championship and the second Hearthstone World Championship were hosted at the event. Hearthstone was won by Sebastian "Ostkaka" Engwall and Heroes of the Storm was won by team Cloud 9 again. The 2015 StarCraft II World Championship Series Global Finals was won by Kim "sOs" Yoo-jin beating last year's winner Lee "Life" Seung Hyun and becoming the first two-time StarCraft II World Championship Series world champion. The World of Warcraft arena team championship was won by SK Gaming.

The closing concert was performed by Linkin Park. [38]


Blizzcon 2016, also known as BlizzCon X, was the tenth BlizzCon event. Its tickets were sold on April 20 and 23 using the ticketing service Universe. Blizzard offered a Virtual Ticket for live online streaming of all of the esports events and major panels, remaining at the $39.99 price. Other panels and interviews in smaller rooms were not included for streaming.

In September 2016, Blizzard Entertainment released a sneak peek at the BlizzCon 2016 in-game item rewards and offered for the first time the "goody bag", normally only for physical attendees, was offered for sale to virtual ticket holders. [39]

The fourth expansion for Hearthstone, Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, was announced on November 4, 2016, and was later released on December 1, 2016. [40]

Overwatch officially announced the hero Sombra, Blizzard announced the creation of an official esports league for Overwatch. It was announced that Diablo III would include a remake of Diablo and the necromancer hero class would be added in a DLC. [41]

The gaming events at BlizzCon 2016 included the 2016 StarCraft II World Championship Series Global Finals won by Byun "ByuN" Hyun Woo, the World of Warcraft arena championship, the Hearthstone third world championship, the Heroes of the Storm fall championship, and the Overwatch World Cup. [42]

Kristian Nairn, who played Hodor on the HBO series Game of Thrones , was the DJ during Blizzard's 25th anniversary party. [43] The closing ceremony concert was performed by "Weird Al" Yankovic. [44]


On March 14, Blizzard Entertainment announced that BlizzCon 2017 was held on November 3 and 4, with tickets being available to purchase on April 5 and 8 using the ticketing service Universe; an unprecedented third round happened on July 5 due to the convention center adding a new hall. [45] The prices for both admission and the benefit dinner remained at $199 and $750 respectively. On September 13, 2017, Virtual Tickets began being sold; this ticket included a faction-specific flying mount in World of Warcraft, and other special items in the various Blizzard games. [46] [47]

Blizzcon 2017 had a record number of more than 35,000 attendees due to a recently completed expansion of the Anaheim Convention Center. [48]

At Blizzcon the gaming announcements included that the next expansion to World of Warcraft would be Battle for Azeroth , there would be official World of Warcraft Classic servers, a new hero for Overwatch named Moira was added as well as a new map called "Blizzardworld", StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty 's first campaign, multiplayer and other modes of the game are now free, [49] and Hearthstone's next expansion would be "Kobolds and Catacombs" and that it would be released in December 2017. [50]

The esports events at BlizzCon 2017 included the 2017 StarCraft II World Championship Series Global Finals won by Lee "Rogue" Byung Ryul, the World of Warcraft arena championship won by ABC, the Hearthstone Inn-vitational won by the Grimestreet Grifters, the Heroes of the Storm HGC Finals won by MVP Black, the Overwatch World Cup won by South Korea for the second time, and StarCraft: Remastered Ultimate Title Fight won by Bisu. [51]

The closing concert was performed by Muse. [52]


Blizzard Entertainment announced that BlizzCon 2018 would be held on November 2 and 3 at the Anaheim Convention Center, with tickets being available to purchase from on May 9 and 12. [53] A third round of tickets went on sale on August 18. [54] The price for admission remained at $199 while a virtual ticket option was offered for $49.99. [55]

The announcements on the first day included Warcraft III: Reforged , a remaster of Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and its expansion, The Frozen Throne , with a release sometime in 2019; [56] Ashe, a new Western-themed hero for Overwatch ; [57] Orphea, daughter of the Raven Lord, the first original character for Heroes of the Storm , who will be given free to attendees and Virtual Ticket holders; [58] the Rastakhan's Rumble expansion for Hearthstone ; [59] World of Warcraft Classic, which had a playable demo available for both attendees and Virtual Ticket holders, will be released in the summer of 2019, and will be included in the regular World of Warcraft subscription; [60] and Diablo: Immortal , an action role-playing game for mobile devices. [61] The announcement of Diablo: Immortal was poorly received by attendees and Blizzard fans across the board, resulting in a high number of dislikes on the Youtube gameplay and cinematic trailers, and considerable criticism from gaming journalists, streamers and Youtubers. [62]

The esports events at BlizzCon 2018 included the StarCraft II World Championship Series Global Finals won by Joona "Serral" Sotala, [63] the World of Warcraft Arena World Championship won by Method Orange, [64] the World of Warcraft Mythic Dungeon Invitational All-Stars won by Free Marsy, the Hearthstone Global Games won by the China team, [65] the Heroes of the Storm Global Championship won by Gen.G, [66] and the Overwatch World Cup won by South Korea for the third time. [67]

Closing festivities included three simultaneous concerts by Train, Kristian Nairn, and Lindsey Stirling. [68]

Blizzard WorldWide Invitational

Blizzard WorldWide Invitationals were events similar to BlizzCon held outside the United States.

EditionDatesLocationPriceGame announceBeta keyPlayable gamesWeb sites
1January 15 to 18, 2004Seoul, South Korea, COEX Convention CenterFreeNone???
2February 3 to 5, 2006Seoul, South Korea, COEX Convention Center?None?? WWI 2006
3May 19 and 20, 2007Seoul, South KoreaFree StarCraft II NoneNone WWI 2007
4June 28 and 29, 2008Paris, France, Porte de Versailles70 euros Diablo III WoW Wrath Lich KingStarCraft II, WoW Wrath Lich King WWI 2008

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