This Friday, crowds will swarm the Anaheim Convention Center for BlizzCon, the 6th annual celebration of all things Blizzard. Super-fans who don’t make the journey have a much more couch-friendly option—attend via the internet with a virtual ticket. But is the $40 price tag worth it?
Well, the 500,000 people who watched it online last year certainly thought so. That’s on top of the 25,000 people who bought tickets and actually attended the event.
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“Tickets usually sell out in seconds,” said Bob Colayco, PR manager for Blizzard. “We wanted a way for our fans who couldn’t come to be able to follow along with what was going on.”
How willing you are to fork over $40 might depend on how badly you want to know the identity of the new Zerg, Protoss and Terran units that will appear in next year’s StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. While Blizzard has hinted at them on its Facebook page, the company will do a full reveal at one of BlizzCon’s panels. Colayco also promised big news for Blizzard’s other titles, World of Warcraft and the soon-to-be-released Diablo III.
“We don’t attend E3 anymore, so we wanted to go directly to the people who play the game with this news,” said Colayco.
A ticket will get you virtual access to all of the panels, interviews and the closing Foo Fighters concert, as well as a new pet for your WoW character. Those who don’t want to spring for the virtual ticket can still see plenty of action, provided they have a Battle.net account, which gives them access to live-streaming coverage of the 16-person, double-elimination StarCraft II tournament and the 3v3 World of Warcraft tournament.
Of course, casual fans can just wait until seconds after each big announcement is made, seeing as how each piece of news will be instantly Yamato-cannoned across the internet. Blizzard fans, however, are usually defined as anything but casual.