Inside BlizzCon gaming mega-event where tens of thousands of players flock to celebrate world’s biggest games


BLIZZCON is one of the world’s biggest gaming conventions, attracting tens of thousands of adoring fans.


Tens of thousands of Blizzard fans descended on Anaheim, California for BlizzCon 2023

Gamers sat down to try out new content announced at BlizzCon

The main arena was packed for Blizzard's big 2023 announcements

Blizzard super-fans dressed up as characters from the gaming giant's most popular titles

Game on!

The convention was forced to paused between 2019 and 2022 due to Covid-19.

But just like the virtual characters of Blizzard's fans, BlizzCon was brilliantly resurrected in 2023.

Parts of the event are available to watch online for free, but committed fans forked out $299 for general admission, or $799 for special VIP tickets, to be there in person.

Part of the thrill for visitors is seeing the games they've played for years (and in some cases, decades) come to life beyond the computer screen.

And moreover, there's the attraction of meeting up with fellow gamers to share in the joy.

"These games create friendships with people that last forever," Blizzard President Mike Ybarra told HOAR.

"When I talk to people out there – my guide is here – it's about seeing each other.

"You're behind a keyboard and a screen, but you've played for 10 years, or two years, or 20 years together.

"And being able to be together in person builds that emotional connection and makes it stronger all through the games that we make.

"But to me it's always been the social and community piece that makes BlizzCon what it is."

Fan favorites

Some of those guests are Blizzard super-fans who spend significant time and money to create stunningly realistic cosplay outfits.

These skilled creators will dress as their favorite characters, with some elaborate costumes taking months to prepare.

They gladly pose for photo after photo, proud to show off their creations to fans of Blizzard's beloved franchises.

One of the main attractions of BlizzCon is the arena showcase, which sees Blizzard make major announcements about its roster of games.

World of Warcraft received the most significant updates (with not one but three expansions revealed), but new content was offered up to Overwatch and Diablo players too.

Fans whoop and cheer as Blizzard execs dispense gaming surprises – like a Santa Claus whose sack is filled with elves and dragons.

Blizzard bigwig Chris Metzen was a highlight of the show, commanding the stage with a rock star-like performance to reveal Warcraft news.

Blizzard has always been known for its lovingly crafted franchises, some of which date back to the mid-nineties.

It's this longstanding gaming legacy that attracts such huge crowds to BlizzCon in a way that few other game-makers could manage.

And now the company is part of Microsoft's multi-trillion-dollar stable of corporate power, it seems certain that BlizzCon will only get bigger in the future.

Though the popularity of Blizzard games might wax and wane, it's clear that plenty of die-hard fans are still willing fork out big money to enter gaming's version of the "happiest place on Earth" – and it's no surprise why.