“BlizzCon” is an annual convention held by Blizzard Entertainment to celebrate their major franchises: Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo.
BlizzCon first started in October 2005, held at the Anaheim Convention Center where it has been held since. Some features included the announcements of release of new content for their franchises, previews of content for upcoming games, and Blizzard developer Q&A sessions.
Throughout the days are hands-on experience of new and existing games, various panels related to the multiple franchises, and judging of the contests being held – including costume and songwriting. The closing night has held a concert, previously The Offspring and Blizzard’s in-house band (whose members are employees) Level (10, 60, 70, 80 or “The Artists Formerly Known as Level 80”) Elite Tauren Chieftain.
Everyone attending gets a “swag bag”, which consists of various items related to the Blizzard Franchises. For example, at the 2005 BlizzCon, there was a code that could be exchanged for an in-game pet from World of Warcraft, which was a baby Murloc named ‘Murky’. As well, there have been passes to get in to the closed beta test of an upcoming Blizzard game – World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade from 2005, World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King for 2007, StarCraft II for 2008, and Diablo III for 2010.
Tickets for the first three events were US$100 each for admission to both days of activities. For 2009 the price was raised to $125. For 2010, the price was raised to $150. For 2011, the price was raised to $175. All of the extras in the swag bag, concerts, panels, and contests are included in the price.
The similar event is the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational and it can be held in other countries.