No, BlizzCon probably isn’t moving from Anaheim
Why can’t Blizzard do BlizzCon in your town? Or, heck with you, why can’t they do it in my town?
Well, lots of reasons. CM Ythisens laid out a few of them on the forums in response to a thread about whether or not BlizzCon was worth attending. Someone postulated that maybe Blizzard could do a con in Australia instead of at the Anaheim Convention Center. And I think a lot of us feel much the same way — we’d love to go, but the expense of travel and tickets and lodgings gets to be a strain and we just can’t swing it.
Believe me, I feel you, Aehl — this is the first year I could travel out of the country since BlizzCon started and I just can’t scrape up the cash to go. And I want to — so, man, is it a bummer. I’d love for them to do BlizzCon somewhere closer and more accessible for me. Why can’t they? Well, for one thing, BlizzCon is massive. How massive? Ythisens puts it in perspective below:
One thing that gets underestimated is how huge BlizzCon has become. Its not easy to just move it to another location. The Anaheim Convention Center has a total floor space of 1.6M square feet (that’s like 150k square meters for the rest of the world) we take up almost all of it at this point and the new hall that they built which I don’t believe is accounted for in that figure. The largest convention center in Australia for example is I believe the new International Convention Centre in Sydney. It’s only 404k square feet. It’s about a quarter of the size. You couldn’t fit BlizzCon there let alone the astronomical costs of trying to make something like that happen.
It’s a big ordeal just having it right down the road in Anaheim. It takes so much work to plan and make BlizzCon happen. When one finishes the main BlizzCon team has already started planning the following years. It’s kind of amazing they’re able to pull it off because there are just so many moving parts.
Now I’m not saying it won’t ever happen, but there’s some obvious reasons why its always been at the Anaheim Convention Center and continues to be. I’d love for that to happen but realistically it’s just not that easy.
As important as the size consideration is, the fact that currently BlizzCon is within easy driving distance of the Blizzard campus is a huge contributing factor to its success. The team can much more easily pull in more people if needed, make logistical decisions without as much fear of delays and travel time, and otherwise make the trip to and from the venue with a lot less hassle than trying to do it across thousands of miles, much less an ocean and multiple time zones.
You’ll note that while Blizzard still does a myriad of international esports events, they stopped doing the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational back in 2008. And Ythisens point that the BlizzCon team almost immediately starts planning the next year’s BlizzCon after finishing the previous one is a really good point — consider the added nightmare of immediately having to find a new place to host this mammoth thing. 1.6 million square feet and they use every inch of it. There are certainly bigger venues in the world, don’t get me wrong, but that’s not going to make this job any easier.
Plus, Blizzard is in the video game business. Just having their own convention is something they can get away with because of their size and the popularity of their games, but it’s still something that requires them to put people to work on something that’s not making a video game. Doing it in Anaheim at least means they can do it from the comfort of their own facility, and that they can rotate people in and out of the team — it’s also easier for them to have people who are currently working on their games go to the convention and talk about said games if those people are literally just driving down there from home instead of flying around the world.
Ythisens doesn’t rule out the possibility of BlizzCon someday moving or getting a BlizzCon West or some such, but I wouldn’t bet on it any time soon. As much as I would like it in Edmonton, I’m aware that it’s not likely ever to happen.
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