Blizzard is easily one of the most successful gaming companies out there. And so by extension their biggest event of the year, BlizzCon, should be successful as well. But it turns out that from a fiscal standpoint, it really isn’t.
Blizzard co-founder and executive vice president of product development Frank Pearce spoke at the 2009 Austin Game Developers Conference today, Gamespot reports, where he said, “BlizzCon is operated at a substantial loss for the company. It’s a huge marketing opportunity, so that’s the benefit we get out of that. But in terms of any kind of financial gain, it actually is a loss for us.”
This is a tad surprising considering that BlizzCon sold 20,000 tickets at $125 each, tons of merchandise, and had a pay-per-view option through DirecTV. But then again, they did have to pay for celebrity appearances like Tricia Helfer and an Ozzy concert, renting out the Anaheim Convention Center, and cash prizes for the contests they held. So while revealing the new World of Warcraft expansion is a great publicity idea, the bottom line for the event has got to sting real bad.