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Blizzcon Raises Ticket Prices For Third Straight Year
Blizzcon Raises Ticket Prices For Third Straight Year
April 12, 2011 | By Kyle Orland

The price of a ticket to this year's edition of Blizzard's annual Blizzcon fan festival has risen to $175, the third such increase in as many years.

Tickets to the first three Blizzcons, held between 2005 and 2008, ran $100, but that price increased to $125 as attendance at the 2009 show reached a new high of 20,000. Approximately 28,000 people purchased tickets to the 2010 show for $150, according to media reports.

Tickets for this year's event, taking place October 21 and 22 at the Anaheim Convention Center, will be sold in two batches, starting a 10 a.m. Pacific on Wednesday, May 25 and 7 p.m. Pacific on Saturday, May 28 through the Blizzcon website, Blizzard announced today.

Roughly 200 special event tickets will also include entrance to an exclusive benefit dinner, with proceeds from the $500 purchase price going to the Children's Hospital of Orange County.

Those unable to secure tickets will once again be able to purchase a $40 Virtual Ticket, which allows access to live video of the event online or through DirecTV, though certain video coverage will be available online for free.

At an Austin GDC keynote in 2009, Blizzard's Frank Pearce noted the convention operates "at a substantial loss for Blizzard."

Last year's Blizzcon featured a closing ceremony performance by Tenacious D, following on a 2009 Blizzcon performance by Ozzy Osbourne.

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Todd Boyd
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$40 just to watch event streams? Seriously?!

Michael Joseph
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"At an Austin GDC keynote in 2009, Blizzard's Frank Pearce noted the convention operates "at a substantial loss for Blizzard.""

Baloney. It's part of Blizzard's marketing budget. They may not be making a direct profit from this convention but Blizzard isn't in the convention businesses either is it?

Kyle Orland
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The two aren't mutually exclusive. The conference is operated at a loss AND that loss is absorbed as part of the marketing budget. But the quote highlights that, despite the ticket prices, this thing isn't a money-maker for them.

Food for thought: If they charged $0 for tickets, it'd still be part of the marketing budget. Just a bigger part.

Cate Ericsson
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Totally true, Kyle. Ever since Pearce's comments debunked the idea that Blizzard MAKES money off of BlizzCon, it just created a whole new round of confusion.

Yes, Blizzard takes in a shitload of money off of the ticket sales and vendor booth sales... but at the end of the day, they spend a shitload more money to put the thing on in the first place. Anyone who's ever been there and taken a half-second to ponder what it takes to put on an event like that, should be able to tell you it's a cost for them.

Michael Joseph
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Of course I get that. My point is that people don't normally single out the marketing aspect of their business when talking about profits and losses!

This convention is not operated at a loss. This convention is simply not making enough money to cover it's own expenses. But that is largely irrelevant. Blizzard isn't in the convention business. This is a marketing event. You wouldn't launch a commercial on TV and then claim five seconds after it aired that the commercial was operated at a loss just because it cost $1 million dollars to produce and air.

The real question is how much does this convention benefit Blizzard in the larger scheme of things. If it wasn't worth the expense then surely Blizzard would stop doing them. They aren't doing them purely out of the kindness of their hearts. it's the people subsidizing the convention (aka grand marketing event spectacular) NOT the other way around.

Lisa Ohanian
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I think Kyle was on target here, actually - the point of that quote is to show that Blizzard is putting on the convention, a) for publicity, and b) for people to have fun. It's not a grab for money in and of itself - if anything, that statement was likely released to reassure people who might think that the ticket price increase is simply to keep Blizzard out of the red. Blizzard wants you to know that that's not their main concern with this event.