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BlizzCon will be livestreamed for free this year — yes, all of it

Blizzard outlines plans for more “immersive” event in November

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Various Blizzard characters, including Thrall from Warcraft, Winston from Overwatch, and Lilith from Diablo, gathered together in BlizzCon 2023 promotional art Image: Blizzard Entertainment
Oli Welsh is senior editor, U.K., providing news, analysis, and criticism of film, TV, and games. He has been covering the business & culture of video games for two decades.

Blizzard has announced its plans for this year’s BlizzCon fan convention — the first to be held in person since 2019 — and has revealed that all of the show’s on-stage content will be livestreamed free of charge.

As announced in May, BlizzCon will return to its traditional home of the Anaheim Convention Center on Nov. 3 and 4, 2023. But it sounds as though the show will take a slightly different form to its pre-pandemic incarnation.

All the panels, which were previously spread across a number of stages throughout the convention center’s hall, will take place on the single, main stage in the BlizzCon Arena. This perhaps suggests a slightly smaller and more focused lineup of presentations than we’ve seen previously, as well as making it easier for Blizzard to make them all available to stream.

Meanwhile, the rest of the venue will be transformed into a “more experiential, [...] one-of-a-kind immersive experience, bringing attendees into the universes of Warcraft, Diablo, and Overwatch with massive installations, art, and thematic spaces where friends can connect,” Blizzard said. Sounds lovely, even if I’m not sure if I really want to be immersed in the grimdark world of Diablo 4’s Sanctuary.

The Opening Ceremony and the traditional BlizzCon Community Night, which plays host to cosplay competitions and the like, will both take place in the BlizzCon Arena, and be simulcast online and across the venue. This year’s Opening Ceremony is bound to feature the reveal of the next World of Warcraft expansion, as well as what’s next for Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2. It’s possible we’ll see more of mobile game Arclight Rumble and Blizzard’s untitled survival game.

The finals of the first Overwatch World Cup of the Overwatch 2 era will be decided in front of a live audience at the show. But there’s no mention yet of a Closing Ceremony with a big musical act; previous BlizzCons have featured performances by the likes of Foo Fighters, Metallica, and Muse.

Tickets go on sale on July 8 at 10 a.m. PDT/1 p.m. EDT via AXS, and Blizzard recommends making an AXS account in advance if you don’t have one. A second wave of tickets will be sold on July 22 at the same time. General admission tickets cost $299, while the VIP Portal Pass (including private areas, meet-and-greets, and more) costs $799.

The Virtual Ticket for remote attendees will also return, despite the fact the whole show will be livestreamed for free this year. It will feature in-game goodies, access to exclusive BlizzCon merch, and more — Blizzard promised more details on this soon.

BlizzCon had been due to return in 2022, but was pushed back amid the damaging revelations of the lawsuit over Blizzard’s toxic work culture, Meanwhile, the reaction to the studio’s games has been varied. Diablo 4 and the last WoW expansion, Dragonflight, were well received by fans, but mobile game Diablo Immortal was met with intense skepticism, and Overwatch 2’s launch has been chaotic and poorly communicated. Blizzard will be hoping to put a difficult few years behind it in November.

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