Blizzard’s annual BlizzCon expo celebrating all things StarCraft, Warcraft and Diablo isn’t as profitable as one might think. Despite selling 20,000 tickets at $125 a pop, a ton of merchandising at the con and the DirecTV deal, Blizzard didn't see any profits from the show.
Executive Vice President, Frank Pearce, spoke at Austin GDC yesterday where he opened up on the cost of the convention:
"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."
Frank wouldn’t go into details on how much is lost, but it’s got to be a pretty penny. GameSpot points out that Blizzard has to rent out the Anaheim Convention Center, provide around 2,000 PCs for demos and there’s all those cash prizes too. Plus, there’s the celebrity factor with Kerrigan's voice actress Tricia Helfer making an appearance along with Ozzy Osbourne’s concert.
It may have cost them a ton, but I’m sure the 11 million World of Warcraft players help Blizzard sleep at night.
FUN FACT TIME! Frank also gave an insight on some interesting numbers in relation to WoW:
"Put together, the massively multiplayer online role-playing game and its two expansions have 7,650 quests, 70,000 spells, 40,000 NPCs, 1.5 million assets, and 5.5 million lines of code, and requires 4,000 employees, 13,250 server blades, and 75,000 CPU cores."