With today’s announcement that BlizzCon is returning to Anaheim this November 7 and 8, now’s the perfect time to look back at some of the highlights of (and pictures from) BlizzCons past. . . .
Last year, BlizzCon 2013 overtook Anaheim with a storm of epic proportions. We unveiled the fifth World of Warcraft expansion, Warlords of Draenor, and gave players a fresh look at Heroes of the Storm. On the eSports front, we hosted the first ever Hearthstone Innkeeper’s Invitational, Conan O’Brian helped shoutcast the World of Warcraft Arena tournament (where Skill-Capped took 1st place), and sOs was crowned champion of the StarCraft II WCS Global Finals. Closing out the show: SoCal punk legends Blink-182.
The mists parted with the announcement of the fourth World of Warcraft expansion, Mists of Pandaria, and the Diablo III: The Black Soulstone cinematic made its debut. Mvp emerged triumphant in the StarCraft II Global Invitational; a cold, calculating, and extremely well-crafted Adjutant owned the costume contest; and rock gods Foo Fighters blew the roof off of the convention center, necessitating two years’ worth of repairs before it was ready to host another BlizzCon.
In the months leading up to the impending Cataclysm, we unveiled the fifth and final playable class for Diablo III—the Demon Hunter—and showcased the Blizzard-crafted StarCraft II custom game that would ultimately transform into Heroes of the Storm. Genius took home the StarCraft II crown, and Tenacious D melted a convention center’s worth of faces when they closed out the show.
Attendees experienced the new worgen and goblin starting areas of the newly unveiled World of Warcraft expansion, Cataclysm, while in Sanctuary, players got their first-ever hands on with Diablo III’s Monk class. The Mistress of Pain spun a web of awesome over the costume contest judges’ minds, and heavy metal legend (and occasional undead warlock) Ozzy Osbourne showed everyone why he was the one true Prince of Darkness.
For the first time ever, BlizzCon featured in-development games from all three of Blizzard’s big game universes—World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, StarCraft II, and Diablo III—all of them playable on the show floor. Comedian (and certified geek) Patton Oswalt performed live, Elite Tauren Chieftain leveled up to 80, and attendees were treated to another awesome Video Games Live concert.
The second-ever BlizzCon took the wraps off the second-ever World of Warcraft expansion: Wrath of the Lich King. Attendees got a closer look at and hands-on time with StarCraft II—making its first-ever BlizzCon appearance—and Jay Mohr made his debut as emcee of BlizzCon’s notorious night of contests. Level 70 Elite Tauren Chieftain played their BlizzCon, serving as a rocking counterpoint to the orchestral arrangements of Video Games Live.
At the very first BlizzCon, 8,000 attendees got to try out the first of the two playable races of The Burning Crusade—the Blood Elves—and had a rare opportunity to play the multiplayer mode of the never-released StarCraft: Ghost. World of Warcraft players took home their very own Murky, The Offspring played BlizzCon’s inaugural closing ceremony, and the rest—as they say—is history.