Oh, whoa, look at that: It was a big deal! More than 20,000 people attended the two-day affair, and many thousands more no doubt bought virtual tickets. We learned about a new WoW expansion, an upcoming Diablo expansion, an online card game, an upcoming movie -- heck, we even learned about an entirely new game based around cooperative team PvP. There were contests, tournaments, live bands and a guy in a red shirt. Wowhead and WoW Insider threw a party, and oh my dear lord so many people came.
Was it all worth it? Undoubtedly. The amount of excitement, community buzz and media coverage coming out of this conference was absolutely incredible, and it was a transformative moment in Blizzard history.
But is it worth doing again next year?
Making BlizzCon happen takes an absolutely stunning amount of time, energy, money and resources. In the weeks -- no, months -- leading up to it, people up and down the Blizzard company ladder have to stop what they're doing in order to prepare for the convention and then make it all happen. Designers, developers, artists, community managers, you name it: Their work becomes increasingly consumed by BlizzCon, which means it becomes increasingly not consumed by, you know, their actual regular jobs making and managing the games we so deeply love to play (and complain about).
In 2012, the awareness of how much work they had to do on their games, and their desire to meet the demands of their players (and perhaps their shareholders and corporate boardmembers, too), led Blizzard's top brass to cancel BlizzCon entirely. If they hadn't, it's very likely Mists of Pandaria would have been released many weeks, even months, later than it was.
So. Given how much BlizzCon takes away from Blizzard employees' regular duties, which would you rather see: Another convention next year, or a potentially faster release schedule for new games, expansions and features? What if BlizzCon always occurred just once every two years, but lasted for three or four days instead of two?
Or is there some other kind of happy medium? (Besides cloning the entire Blizzard company directory.)