IRVINE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Blizzard Entertainment today released major details about BlizzCon® 2018, its epic celebration of gaming and community taking place next week. On Friday, November 2, and Saturday, November 3, an expected 40,000+ people, and millions more tuning in online from around the world, will come together to see what has become a spectacle of video game culture. Every BlizzCon is an epic moment in Blizzard history, and this one promises to be another one to remember—from announcements at the opening ceremony to the dozens of stage events, community activities, and esports tournaments taking place across more than 1 million square feet at the Anaheim Convention Center in California.
BlizzCon 2018 is sold out, with record attendance expected this year, but Blizzard wants to make sure as many people as possible from around the world can be part of the show. This year, Blizzard is adding to its slate of free livestreams, which include the show’s opening ceremony and all esports tournaments. Last year, over 10 million viewers from more than 180 countries tuned in to BlizzCon.
Blizzard is also enhancing the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket with more features and ways to be part of the show. The BlizzCon Virtual Ticket is a paid service providing the deepest access available to live content, with access to events from every major stage and field reports from the BlizzCon show floor. It includes the same in-game virtual item bonuses for Blizzard franchises that show attendees receive and comes with access to dozens of videos on demand (VODs) featuring original programming. As a first in Blizzard’s history, this year’s Virtual Ticket also brings home one of the demos being debuted at the show, with the World of Warcraft® Classic demo available to players around the world around the same time it goes live on the show floor.
“BlizzCon is simply the best part of the year for Blizzard and our player community, as we come together for an epic celebration of games and gamer culture,” said Saralyn Smith, executive producer of BlizzCon at Blizzard Entertainment. “This is a welcoming home for our global community. We co-create the show with our players, and we want to involve as much of our community as possible in forming the next epic moments that become Blizzard history.”
Never Miss a Moment
BlizzCon’s biggest news and announcements begin with the opening ceremony at 11:00 a.m. PDT on Friday, November 2. Like last year, online viewers can tune in for free to see the pre-show and opening ceremony on the BlizzCon All-Access Channel starting at 10:30 a.m. This year, there are more ways to catch BlizzCon live. Livestreams are available via BlizzCon.com and the BlizzCon mobile app for Android and iOS. For the first time, viewers can watch livestreams using the BlizzCon TV app and the Blizzard Battle.net® desktop app, and they can cast to their favorite devices using Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, and Airplay. They can also watch in more languages than ever, with content available in English, Spanish, German, Korean, French, Chinese, Russian, and Portuguese.
For the first time, the BlizzCon All-Access Channel is airing two additional free livestream previews, from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. PDT on Friday, and again from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. PDT on Saturday. To access the show programming available during these times, check out the BlizzCon 2018 Schedule.
Along with the opening ceremony and All-Access Channel previews, all esports programming at BlizzCon is livestreamed for free.
Show Events and Closing Festivities
BlizzCon spans nearly every part of the Anaheim Convention Center (with more onsite broadcast equipment than many major league sports events). Blizzard is again featuring a multi-stage opening ceremony that will be simulcast throughout the convention center. Panels and presentations featuring developers and special guests—and plenty of memorable moments—take place both days of the show across three stages: Mythic Stage, located in Hall D, and the Epic and Legendary Stages, both located in North Hall Level 2.
BlizzCon has traditionally ended with a closing headline band. BlizzCon 2018 is transforming that tradition into a closing music festival featuring three distinct entertainment experiences: the iconic American rock band Train, violinist and performance artist Lindsey Stirling, and DJ and popular actor Kristian Nairn. All three concerts will be streamed live in HD to online viewers via the Virtual Ticket.
Community Night returns with the legendary Costume Contest, Talent Contest, Movie Contest, and Art Contest. Featuring popular VO actors Darin De Paul as host and Matthew Mercer joining the judge’s panel, Blizzard’s biggest annual community stage show starts at 7:00 p.m. PDT on Friday, November 2, and is available to online viewers via the Virtual Ticket.
BlizzCon 2018 is also the site for Blizzard esports, gathering elite players from around the world to make history in the Overwatch® World Cup Finals, Hearthstone® Global Games Finals, StarCraft® II WCS Global Finals, World of Warcraft Arena World Championship Global Finals, World of Warcraft Mythic Dungeon Invitational All-Stars, and Heroes of the Storm® Global Championship Finals.
Other show highlights include:
- Hands-on Gaming—Once the news is out at the opening ceremony, attendees can enjoy hands-on demos featuring new and just-announced content for our games and franchises.
- BlizzCon Gear Store—Every BlizzCon brings exclusive Blizzard gear that’s available onsite at the show and online through the Blizzard Gear Store.
- Inclusion Nexus—Blizzard’s diversity and inclusion (D&I) space returns, located on Level 2 above Hall A, featuring special activities, guest speakers and representatives from Blizzard’s Women’s Advisory Council, LGBTQ Council, and Veterans Group.
BlizzCon 2018 Sponsors
BlizzCon is made possible in part by the generosity of our partners, who help provide equipment and other support for the show. This year’s partners include Cisco, Intel, and Samsung SSD, along with the following sponsors who will be hosting various activities at the show:
- CORSAIR—Check out a custom PC, test your luck for prizes at the CORSAIR Claw machine, and choose your side in the CORSAIR World of Warcraft photo booth.
- Facebook—Watch participating livestreams on Facebook for a chance to earn special In-Stream Rewards. Learn more: blizz.ly/BC18FBRewards.
- Nintendo Switch—Join the Diablo III: Eternal Collection development team live on the show floor at the Horadric Retreat, a great place to relax and run Rifts with friends.
- NVIDIA—Enter to win prizes including the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, hop into a photobooth with special guests, and obtain an exclusive collectible patch.
- NZXT—Drop by the NZXT booth where experts can answer your questions about building gaming PCs and take a spin on the NZXT prize wheel for a chance to win a BLD gaming PC.
- Republic of Gamers—Enter to win amazing prizes and demo the latest hardware from ROG including the cutting-edge new ROG Phone and a variety of powerful gaming hardware.
- T-Mobile—Vote for the Overwatch World Cup MVP on Twitter using #TMobileMVP and your choice’s BattleTag™, take a photo with the MVP trophy, create your own custom poster at the Un-carrier Lounge, and stay connected throughout BlizzCon with complimentary Wi-Fi courtesy of T-Mobile.
For press only, new assets are available at https://blizzard.gamespress.com/BlizzCon-2018.
About Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.
Best known for blockbuster hits including World of Warcraft®, Hearthstone®, Overwatch®, the Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® franchises, and the multi-franchise Heroes of the Storm®, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. (www.blizzard.com), a division of Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI), is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating some of the industry’s most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard Entertainment’s track record includes twenty-two #1 games* and multiple Game of the Year awards. The company's online gaming service, Blizzard Battle.net®, is one of the largest online-gaming services in the world, with millions of active players.
*Sales and/or downloads based on internal company records and reports from key distribution partners.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements:
Information in this press release that involves Blizzard Entertainment's expectations, plans, intentions or strategies regarding the future, including statements about dates, content, performances, activities, and viewing options for BlizzCon and the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket are forward-looking statements that are not facts and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause Blizzard Entertainment’s actual future results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements set forth in this release include unanticipated product delays and other factors identified in the risk factors sections of Activision Blizzard’s most recent annual report on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. The forward-looking statements in this release are based upon information available to Blizzard Entertainment and Activision Blizzard as of the date of this release, and neither Blizzard Entertainment nor Activision Blizzard assumes any obligation to update any such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements believed to be true when made may ultimately prove to be incorrect. These statements are not guarantees of the future performance of Blizzard Entertainment or Activision Blizzard and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond its control and may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations.