Are you ready for BlizzCon 2011? Blizzard Entertainment's two-day gaming festival begins this Friday, October 21, at the Anaheim Convention Center. The sold-out show features developer discussion panels, top-tier tournament competition, the popular costume and dance contests hosted by Jay Mohr, an epic closing concert featuring Foo Fighters, and much more.
You can still join us from home by purchasing a BlizzCon Virtual Ticket, featuring more than 50 hours of live HD coverage streaming online as well as the exclusive BlizzCon 2011 World of Warcraft pet, Murkablo, and yet-to-be-revealed StarCraft II in-game gift. DIRECTV customers in the U.S. can also order BlizzCon as a Pay Per View event and get a Virtual Ticket for free. For more information, read our recent press release or visit BlizzCon.com.
The Halloween season has finally arrived, and we’re ready to cut straight to the heart of the holiday. If you’re dying to pick up a knife and hack, gash, slash, and jab at something, then you might be excited to hear that as of October 11, Blizzard’s 2011 Halloween Pumpkin Carving Contest has officially begun! Unleash your magical axes, psi blades, chitinous claws, and other creative cutlery to carve up Blizzard-themed jack-o’-lanterns of epic awesomeness. If you’re unclear as to what epic awesomeness looks like in the flesh, you can check out last year’s winners for some inspiration.
We’ll choose ten of the grandest Cucurbita to earn a delightful prize package consisting of:
Don’t delay, start carving right away! The ninth annual pumpkin carving contest ends on October 25, so be sure to check out the contest page for rules and eligibility and get straight to slicing.
Several times a year, Blizzard employees around the world gather to celebrate the five-, ten-, and fifteen-year milestones of their friends and colleagues with a ceremony where each recipient is honored with their service award. We now present a gallery with examples of awards that have been handed out over the years in recognition of the hard work, great resolve, and unwavering dedication that has helped make Blizzard the company you know today.
The World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade Art gallery has been updated with five pieces representing the Warcraft universe. These pieces offer a tantalizing look at the creativity inspired by our virtual worlds.
BlizzCon 2011 just got even better with today’s announcement that the closing concert for this year’s show will be headlined by none other than Foo Fighters. The multi-platinum rockers will take the stage to close out the convention with a set drawn from the many iconic anthems of their 16-year career. We also announced today that The Artists Formerly Known as Level 80 Elite Tauren Chieftain, Blizzard’s in-house metal band, will be returning to BlizzCon this year and will open for Foo Fighters. Tickets to the convention are currently sold out, but the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket, which offers multi-channel Internet streaming worldwide as well as a DIRECTV broadcast in the United States, is still available. Check out the official announcement for more information.
We commonly use the term “soon” when referring to Blizzard releases, because we know that no matter how hard we’re working to reach a target, we’re not going to compromise and launch a game before it’s ready. For Diablo III, we were aiming to launch by the end of 2011. As we’re announcing globally today, our new target for the game is early 2012.
While this news might not be a complete surprise, I know that many of you were hopeful that Diablo III would ship this year. We were too. However, this week we pulled together people from all of the teams involved with the game to decide whether we felt it would be ready before the end of December, and we grudgingly came to the conclusion that it would not. Ultimately, we feel that to deliver an awesome Diablo sequel that lives up to our expectations and yours as well, we should take a little more time and add further polish to a few different elements of the game.
The upside of today’s announcement is that we will be running the beta test longer than we initially planned, which will allow us to invite more of you who have opted in.
For those taking on the Diableard challenge, we salute you -- and now fear for your well-being and personal hygiene. We hereby issue an official reprieve to all Diableard participants, including Blizzard employees, if you want to trim or otherwise manage the lower half of your face. We’d still love to see your beardly achievements, and we look forward to seeing more of your efforts as we move into 2012, but not to the detriment of your workplaces and significant others.
Thank you everyone for your support and anticipation for Diablo III. We’re still moving ahead at full pace, and we’ll be keeping you fully informed of any news and developments here at Diablo3.com, including the specific release date when the time comes, so stay tuned.