BlizzCon 2023, the annual convention celebrating Blizzard Entertainment’s games, unfolded in Anaheim, California from November 3 to 5. However, this year’s rendition diverged from past successes, as discontented attendees voiced their grievances on social media platforms, most notably Reddit.
A central grievance emerged from the increased ticket prices, with general admission fees climbing from $229 in 2019 to $299 for this year’s gathering. Furthermore, the introduction of the “Portal Pass” ticket, costing $799, promised exclusive privileges like access to a private lounge, gaming experiences, meet-and-greets with employees, separate security and registration lines, and early entry to the lounge on Friday and Saturday.
Nonetheless, Portal Pass holders found themselves disillusioned as several touted advantages failed to materialize. Reports emerged of extensive and disorganized lines at the convention’s entrance, even for those with designated lines. The lounge experience disappointed, with cramped spaces, lackluster food options, and poor communication about developer meet and greet schedules.
General admission ticket holders faced their own tribulations as lines stretched into neighboring areas, causing many to miss the opening ceremony. Due to insufficient crowd control, the Anaheim Police Department had to step in for public safety, leading to chaotic and challenging line management compared to previous years.
Attendees also bemoaned the dearth of content and activities, deeming the convention downsized and less immersive. Fewer halls, a scarcity of eSports events beyond the Overwatch World Cup, and a paucity of informative panels contributed to this perception. Keynotes unfolded in a crowded “arena” setting, offering limited seating and screens. Live events to invigorate the atmosphere were in short supply, as were immersive experiences like art installations.
The merchandise options fell short of expectations, with attendees finding the selection bland and uninspiring. Most items were readily available on the Blizzard Gear Shop, offering few unique collectibles or products in high demand. Some even suggested a separation of Community Night and the Closing Ceremony, given that both events in the BlizzCon Arena made it challenging for attendees to fully enjoy the experience.
The sole bright spot for some attendees was the live performance by K-pop group Le Sserafilm, who collaborated with Overwatch 2. Overwatch 2’s executive producer characterized such collaborations as a “love letter” to devoted players.
Overall, attendees expressed profound disappointment with BlizzCon 2023 and hinted at possible non-attendance in the future. A Reddit user went so far as to label the event a “total disaster.” Many clamored for Blizzard to heed the feedback and enhance future BlizzCon events, advising caution when considering Portal Pass purchases.
Source: 1 Blizzcon 2023 disappointment