Blizzard Entertainment had plenty to celebrate with its fans at its annual BlizzCon 2011 fan festival. Gamers from around the world converged at the Anaheim Convention Center to get hands-on time with Diablo III, hear the latest on StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, learn the newest information of World of WarCraft’s latest expansion, Mists of Pandaria, and see pro gamers from across the globe play StarCraft II. Jay Mohr was in town to host the annual costume contest and the Foo Fighters rocked the house on Saturday night to close out the two days of gaming.
Blizzard announced a new Annual Pass for World of WarCraft and as an incentive for gamers to fork over the 12-month subscription up front they’ll get a free digital copy of Diablo III. Annual Pass subscribers will also get an in-game flying mount, Tyrael’s Charger, a horse with spectral wings that will be available once the latest 4.3 patch launches. And as a final incentive, Annual Pass members will also get exclusive access to the new Mists of Pandaria expansion beta before anyone else can explore this new world.
While competitors are turning more massively multiplayer online (MMO) games over to the free-to-play business model, Blizzard continues to find innovative ways to get its players to invest more money in its franchises. Blizzard fans are a dedicated lot, as you can see from the photos and videos in this post. Check out some of these home-made cosplay costumes in the video below from the NVIDIA sponsored costume contest.
Intel was one of many big technology companies that has partnered with Blizzard Entertainment to sponsor this event, which is broadcast live through DirecTV. Intel sponsored the dance contest, which you can see in the video below.
One of the big stories out of BlizzCon 2011 this year was the playable version of the first StarCraft II expansion, Heart of the Swarm. Blizzard talks about what’s in store for gamers in the developer video interview below.
World of WarCraft: Mists of Pandaria brings a new character class and new environments for MMO gamers to play with. The expansion pack is detailed in the video below from BlizzCon.
Rounding out the festival of PC gamers was new details and a new launch time for Diablo III. The much-anticipated game will launch in early 2012 and a console version is in development. Blizzard talks about the new online role-playing game below.