With thousands of attendees swarming around the main stage, BlizzCon 2010 is now in full swing! To kick off this year's festivities, Blizzard Entertainment CEO and Cofounder Mike Morhaime and Senior Vice President of Creative Development Chris Metzen welcomed the 20,000 people in attendance, as well as the more than 100,000 people in over 100 countries watching live online and via DIRECTV. They also took the opportunity to share what�s in store for attendees at this year's BlizzCon, as well as give players everywhere a glimpse at the future of Blizzard Entertainment games. Here are a few of the highlights from their opening remarks.
World of Warcraft: Moonkins and More
With World of Warcraft: Cataclysm
coming December 7, we're pleased to announce that for the first time, you'll be able to pre-order the expansion from the Blizzard store, download all of the installation DVD's content in advance, and start playing the moment we turn the servers on at midnight, Pacific time, on December 7. Pre-orders will go live soon, so stay tuned to www.blizzard.com
for more information.
We'd like to extend our thanks once again to everyone who purchased the World of Warcraft charity Pandaren Monk pet, raising more than $1.1 million dollars for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. In November, we'll be offering a new charity pet, the Moonkin Hatchling. In the coming months we'll also be auctioning off real-life World of Warcraft realm hardware previously used to run some realms you may have played on, with all of the net proceeds from this auction going to charity. We�ll have more information on both of these soon.
StarCraft II: 91 Million Matches and 4 New Custom Maps
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty launched simultaneously on five continents and in 11 languages on July 27, and within two days, Blizzard gamers made it the biggest PC game launch of 2010 so far and the fastest selling strategy game launch of all time. A month after the game�s release, the StarCraft II community was already 3 million players strong -- and to date, gamers have taken each other on in more than 91 million StarCraft II ranked matches on Battle.net.
Today we're happy to announce that four new custom games currently being developed in the StarCraft II Editor by the game's development team are available for play for the first time on the convention floor. The four games, StarJeweled, Aiur Chef, Left 2 Die, and Blizzard DOTA, will be released for free to all StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty players in the months ahead. Also featured on the convention floor are three winning custom maps submitted by players in the community map-making contest.
eSports: Invitationals and Exhibitions
Competitive gaming continues to gather steam around the world. GomTV recently kicked off the Global StarCraft II League, which brings great players from around the world together to compete for some major prize money. To treat BlizzCon attendees to some epic battles, we're bringing some tough competitors together in our StarCraft II, Warcraft III, and World of Warcraft Arena invitational tournaments. They'll all be competing for their share of the $200,000 we'll be giving away to the winners. And to kick it up a notch, Fruit Dealer and Slayers-Boxer are both in attendance at BlizzCon to battle in an epic StarCraft II exhibition match at 8 p.m. this evening.
BlizzCon is an especially important event to us, and we're thrilled to provide a venue where like-minded individuals can share their passion not just for Blizzard games, but for all of the comic books, movies, superheroes, fantasy and sci-fi sagas, and other awesome parts of our culture that bind us together. Whether it�s Star Wars, Superman, D&D, or Azeroth, BlizzCon is a place where everyone can be proud to embrace their inner geek.
Diablo III: The Fifth Class and PvP Arenas
The fifth and final playable Diablo III class, the demon hunter, has been revealed! Head to our new demon hunter page
to watch the intro cinematic
attendees got to see at the show and find out more about this deadly new defender of Sanctuary. We�ve also unveiled our plans for arena-based player-vs.-player combat, which you can read all about at our new Diablo III PvP page
We have plenty of tournament matches and developer panels coming up shortly -- not to mention contests hosted by comedian Jay Mohr (for the fourth year in a row!) and a closing concert from Tenacious D -- so stay tuned for more exclusive details from the BlizzCon 2010 convention floor!