Ticket scalping has been a long standing problem when it comes to purchasing tickets for the biggest event of the year for Blizzard Entertainment. In previous years, fans have seen markups as high as 300%, and after official Blizzcon ticket sales were over on Wed, May 25th, those who were left without a ticket dreaded the visit to eBay.
This year, scalpers behaved no differently. Many bought 4 tickets per credit card (the maximum limit), and a few bought 20 or more tickets in hopes of making a huge profit. Little did they know that this year’s community wasn’t going to take any more crap. On Wednesday night after regular attendee sales ended, the flood of eBay auctions began. At any given time, there were between 300 and 500 auctions up with buy it now prices of $300 or more. But few auctions sold. Many did not reach the reserve set by the seller, and many more were left un-bidded upon.
The current state of the Blizzcon Official Forums is a wall of threads all authored by those simply wanting to get rid of their extra tickets. Most all of the sellers are claiming that the tickets were originally bought for a friend, but that they bailed last minute. Whether true or false, the sellers’ desperation to get rid of their tickets (at face value), gives a clear indication that scalping may be a fading problem in the future years of Blizzcon. Additionally, with tax set on tickets this year for some states, and the competition to resell tickets at face value, many scalpers are losing money this year.
But now we have to ask, what did Blizzard get right this time? Was it even Blizzard at all? Or was it the community’s hardheaded determination not to buy scalped tickets that won Blizzcon goers this victory? There are a few factors that are worth being discussed here. First is the possibility that Blizzard has finally set the golden price, charging just enough for Blizzcon tickets so that they will sell out without there being many unlucky people left over without tickets (who could afford $175 each). Another possibility is that the loss of 600k World of Warcraft subscriptions may be affecting Blizzcon sales as well. Many of the oldest players (and coincidentally some of the biggest fans of wow) are laying down their weapons and logging off for good.
The community may never know the real reason behind this sudden change, but we are certainly grateful for it. With new threads popping up on the forums every day containing offers for Blizzcon tickets at face value, most everyone who wants to go this year really can as long as they have faith in their fellow player. The experiences of scalpers this year will likely cause a rapid decline in the amount of tickets scalped in subsequent years. At least we can hope so.