Blizzcon is the holy grail of conventions for many World of Warcraft gamers. With 11.4 million subscriptions world wide, there is certainly a lot of competition when trying to get a ticket to attend the event.
On May 21, 2011, Blizzcon Tickets sold out in a matter of less than 30 minutes, however if one didn’t enter the ticket queue to buy tickets within 2 seconds, they missed the chance to buy, so it is more accurate to say that tickets sold out in 2 seconds this year. This was the first batch of ticket sales, and there will be two more chances to get tickets. The first chance will be on May 25th at 7pm and the second will be May 28th. The May 28th date will be to buy tickets to the pre-Blizzcon dinner to benefit the Children’s Hospital of Orange County, and will come with 1 Blizzcon badge and goodie bag per dinner reservation.
Shortly after the selling out of tickets, many auctions began to appear on eBay and other online marketplaces for tickets marked up as high as five hundred dollars. Also within seconds, the forums erupted with threads of outcry over the auctions, and dismay from players over not getting a ticket of their own. Scalping is no new hurdle to prospective Blizzcon attendees. Between 2008 and the present, scalping has been an ever increasing problem with no practical solution in sight.
Though Blizzard has tried to reduce scalping numbers, they are unsuccessful in eradicating it completely. In previous years, they have split the ticket buying date into two dates so that buyers might have two chances to score tickets, and this year they reduced the number of tickets per household to 4, down from 5.
The player base is demanding that Blizzard fix the scalping problem. Immediately after ticket sales, there were many accusatory threads directed at Blizzard claiming that the company did not care about the player base and that they should “step up” and better protect the players from having to pay more for their tickets. Blizzard’s response to this was to remove any threads demanding a solution to the scalping problem. Blizzard has yet to formally address the scalping issue to date, and they refuse comment on all levels.
There is little that the player base can do about scalpers without Blizzard’s help. In the meantime, the community is hard at work to derail the eBay market by reporting all ticket sales as they are in breach of eBay’s terms of service. Outside an all out boycott of the scalped tickets, there is no way to fight back against the scalpers, so many are already giving in and buying the marked up tickets.