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Blizzcon writeup

Discussion in 'Diablo 3 General Discussion' started by Larik, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. Larik

    Larik IncGamers Member

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    Blizzcon writeup

    found a funny article over at gamespot from one of their writers on the blizzcon experience and the price hike. since there isn't a lot of other news going on right now i figured it'd pass it along. i got a chuckle out of it. enjoy.

    http://www.gamespot.com/features/6308892/index.html?om_act=convert&om_clk=picks&tag=picks;title;5

    EDIT: i thought the article illustrated the point flux made in today's podcast that most of the info he posted was observations made through playing the demo, not what was on the floor.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2011
  2. MrFrye

    MrFrye IncGamers Member

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    Re: Blizzcon writeup

    Somebody's bitter.
     
  3. Varquynne

    Varquynne IncGamers Member

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    Re: Blizzcon writeup

    I wanted to point out something interesting.

    Blizzard has stated during an Austin GDC keynote after Blizzcon 2009 (where they also discussed operations, structure, and development inside the company) that they write off Blizzcon as a financial loss.

    The discussion on this starts @46:20. J. Allen Brack says @46:41, “Blizzcon really requires the support of the entire organization to be successful. Here’s something that’s interesting. So, employees have to pay for tickets in order to get into Blizzcon. But, Blizzcon is still operated at a substantial loss for the company. It’s a huge marketing opportunity, so that’s the benefit that we get out of that. But in terms of any kind of financial gain, it actually is a loss for us.”

    I'm sure people may be skeptical at that claim. Keep in mind, this also seemed to take into account the sales of the streaming virtual ticket, as J. Allen Brack goes on to talk about the debut of that service with DirecTV and the online streaming service. They had over 100,000 participants in the show for Blizzcon 2009. Personally, I don't really think Blizzard is trying to price gouge fans to make money off of the event. So, the price increases may be an attempt to at least break even.

    Of course, in terms of addressing the question, "Is it worth it?"... that's quite subjective.
     
  4. Flux

    Flux Administrator

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    Re: Blizzcon writeup

    I do wonder about their oft-stated financial loss on Blizzcon. Obviously it's a massive promotional event, so how you'd balance the actual price of renting the space and computers and such vs. the publicity it gives them, both from attendees and from media coverage, I dunno. And if Blizzard factors in stuff like, "many employees don't get game dev work done preparing for Blizzcon" then that's more Monopoly money that can be argued either way.

    But just on the more concrete figures; if they sell 25k tickets at $175 each, that's $4,375,000 just on tickets. Plus all the virtual passes, plus all the merch they move at the event. (You could safely peg every single person for $50 each on merch, average. And lots of people spend literally hundreds of dollars; you see people walking around with bags full of calendars, posters, art prints, clothing, etc, that adds up very quickly.)

    Very conservatively that's $5m revenue for Blizzcon. Probably more like $8m, including merch and virtual tickets. It it costs them more than that to rent a bunch of computers and the Anaheim convention center for a weekend... they need better event management.
     
  5. konfeta

    konfeta IncGamers Member

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    Re: Blizzcon writeup

    I think you might be underestimating labor costs. Concerts might not be cheap. I also suspect massive insurance costs. Take away the rented computers and list all the other stuff you saw there. It costs money.

    Though I am interested now, I can't find any information on typical convention costs.
     
  6. Varquynne

    Varquynne IncGamers Member

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    Re: Blizzcon writeup

    I wonder what all their expenses entail, exactly. Like, how much do you think it costs to book their celebrities (Ozzy, Jay Mohr, Tenacious D, etc)? How much of a cut does DirecTV get for all the setup, broadcasting, and hosting? They probably also count tournament prizes against the revenues, so that's about another quarter million. They rent out the convention center for more than two days if you include setup time and take down time, right? Is event security included when renting out the convention center? They have to rent out all the audio/visual equipment for the panels and possibly the technical support for that as well. I'm sure the list goes on.


     
  7. konfeta

    konfeta IncGamers Member

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    Re: Blizzcon writeup

    There could also be taxes involved.
     
  8. Wolfpaq777

    Wolfpaq777 Well-Known Member

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    Re: Blizzcon writeup

    For 2 days of >8 hours of entertainment, this really is not a bad price.

    People pay double/triple this for events that last substantially less time, and are of course in my opinion substantially less entertaining (lady gaga $500 tickets *cough*)

    Really though, the definition of overpriced is pretty subjective. IMO, the day Blizzcon doesn't sell out is the day their tickets are overpriced.
     
  9. Neinball

    Neinball <a href="payments.php">IncGamers Site Pal</a> and<

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    Re: Blizzcon writeup

    Here is a list of costs I found for the convention center. It doesn't list the actual cost of renting the exhibition halls though. This year Blizzard has rented out the entire center, all of the halls and entire second floor.

    http://www.anaheimconventioncenter.com/article.cfm?id=46

    Finding out the cost of the convention center might be something news worthy to actually look into. We can only guess and throw figures around for what they take in, but the convention center costs shouldn't be to hard find.


     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2011
  10. Larik

    Larik IncGamers Member

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    Re: Blizzcon writeup

    i think the what really hasn't been taken into consideration yet in the 'value', which can't really be quantified into a dollar amount, is each individuals personal experiences. it's pretty much impossible to say "i had $1500 worth of fun at blizzcon and after hotel and air fair i only spent $1000! i got a stellar deal!". there have been times when i went to the local $1.50 movie theater and felt ripped off when the movie was over because it was terrible.

    i believe many of us, including myself, often look at blizzcon as a source of information only. from that standpoint it's very hard to justify the costs of going. i'm sure actually being there is a blast though. to be surrounded by thousands of people that enjoy the exact same thing as you do. it's like watching a football game on t.v. or being in the stadium. in the end you saw the same game with the same ending result but i can tell you it's an amazing feeling sitting in the stands and hearing the roar of the crowd.

    for many people going to blizzcon is probably a once in a lifetime event which adds to the personal value of the experience and memories.
     
  11. Flux

    Flux Administrator

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    Re: Blizzcon writeup

    While I'm curious about the concrete figures on costs and revenue and such, I think that's largely beside the point, from Blizzard's PoV.

    Their benefit from Blizzcon is massive promotion; every gaming site and tech site on the Internet posts a great deal about the show, and by saving their new product/feature announcements for the show they ensure maximum publicity focused on them. And they're not just another game fighting for headlines with the 50 others at E3 or CES; all the publicity for a week or more is purely about them and their projects.

    As for the costs, I think those are fairly ephemeral as well, from Blizzard's PoV. They'll cite things like all the time their devs spend prepping panels, or game dev slowing as they put together the playable demos, or their artists working on designs, etc.

    Just hypothetically, if they say their entire D3/SC2/WoW dev teams lose 2 weeks of game work since they spend it prepping for Blizzcon, and they add up their salaries... that's a big number. And Bliz could legitimately include the pay for most of their PR and CS and other teams that are also involved in scheduling things for the show.

    I'd argue against that, since you have to budget promotional expenses/time into their game projects in the first place, but I'm sure it's this type of thinking that Blizzard uses to justify their "we lose money on Blizzcon" arguments.
     
  12. ThomasJ

    ThomasJ IncGamers Member

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    Re: Blizzcon writeup

    How much does Blizzard profit each year ? They ain't losing money and fans yet again have to be overcharged. Greed at its finest.
     
  13. Larik

    Larik IncGamers Member

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    Re: Blizzcon writeup

    @flux - you are right on as far as blizzard advertising. it's brilliant for them. pretty much every game site posts blizzard updates almost exclusively for a week.

    i wouldn't call it free advertising but 'included in cost' advertising. i don't think there is any other game company that can claim that much dedicated coverage for a week or 2. even if they took a 500k loss it's more than likely a great deal for that much advertising and the losses are probably a tax write-off. win win for them really.

    did some quick math on your thoughts of the D3/SC2/WoW teams taking 2 weeks off. all these numbers are made up but it gives an idea. if we say across them all 150 works, 80 hours (2 weeks), at lets assume a 30/h average comes out to $360,000.
     
  14. Rajy

    Rajy IncGamers Member

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    Re: Blizzcon writeup

    Im sure if a crazy mad scientist forced blizzard to either make blizzcon free or to stop doing it they would make it free. The advertising and the hype alone are worth doing it i would think. Every blizzcon i start thinking of blizzard games again hah.

    It isn't a necessity of life to watch these things though (err i think:crazyeyes: ) so no point in complaining about the price.

    Thanks for sharing the article, twas funny.
     
  15. Exile

    Exile IncGamers Member

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    Re: Blizzcon writeup

    They (blizzard) do happen to push an ungodly amount of merch at blizzcon. I have been known to drop a few bones on a murloc plushie from time to time. Most of which is completely sold out by the end of the first day.

    But yeah, I do ponder just how much of a "loss" this event is. My guess is the paying of all the employees, sound/lighting/stagemen, there are alot of people working these things.
     

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