BlizzCon, QuakeCon, and SOE face off

It's a three-way free-for-all this weekend, as a trio of top PC game publishers hold simultaneous fan events in Anaheim, Dallas, and Vegas.

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Even with the PC Game On event on an indefinite hiatus, PC gamers still have three major online gaming conventions to look forward to this year. Unfortunately, getting to them all may be a bit of an issue, as BlizzCon, QuakeCon, and the SOE Fan Faire are all happening this weekend.

BlizzCon's front door.

BLIZZCON
Bolstered by its 9 million-player-strong World of Warcraft base, Blizzard's semiannual community event leads the convention circuit, taking place today and tomorrow in Anaheim, California. QuakeCon and the Sony Online Entertainment Fan Faire both opened their doors yesterday and will run through August 5 in Dallas, Texas, and Las Vegas, Nevada, respectively.

As the developer of several of the most popular gaming franchises in the world, Blizzard's BlizzCon event is expected to draw massive crowds from its massive and loyal fan base. While not typically associated with claustrophobia, the spacious Anaheim Convention Center has been descended upon by human hordes filing in shoulder to shoulder to compete in tournaments both competitive and casual, as well as to strut around in their cosplay garb, listen in on developer panels, and get the latest details on upcoming Blizzard products such as Starcraft 2, which will be playable at the event. As part of this year's grab bag of goodies for attendees, Blizzard has promised World of Warcraft in-game loot, as well as a beta key for an upcoming Blizzard product.

That "product" is likely World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, the second expansion to Blizzard's massively multiplayer online sensation sensation World of Warcraft. Following two high-profile leaks, Blizzard vice president wasted little time unveiling the add-on this morning concurrent with its official Web site going online.

SOE FAN FAIRE
Blizzard archrival Sony Online Entertainment will be hosting its own fan appreciation event this weekend at the Rio casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Held annually since 2003, the SOE Fan Faire offers players the chance to park their digital avatars for a weekend and venture out into the real world to meet and greet like-minded players as well as members of the SOE development team. As with BlizzCon, the SOE Fan Faire features panel discussions, cosplay contests, game-themed events, and more.

Hoping to trump the furor stirred up by Blizzard's newly announced WOW expansion, SOE president John Smedley will be announcing a brand-new online game tonight during the SOE Fan Faire Community Address, which begins at 5:30 p.m. Pacific. SOE currently has recently added several MMOG's to its burgeoning stable, including it's internally developed stealth action persistent online shooter The Agency as well as the recently acquired Vanguard: Saga of Heroes from Sigil Games and Flying Lab's Pirates of the Burning Sea.

The Carmack holds court at QuakeCon 2006.

QUAKECON
Rounding out the trifecta and occurring in tandem with SOE's event is id Software's fragfest QuakeCon. Now in its 12th season, QuakeCon returns to the first-person shooter capital of the world--Dallas, Texas--for its yearly tribute to id Software's seminal shooter franchises. More than 6,000 FPS fiends are descending upon Dallas' Hilton Anatole Hotel with their PCs in tow to take part in what's billed as the world's largest LAN party. A number of tournaments will also be held during the event, including the first ever featuring Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, and this year's QuakeCon Championship Tournament clocks in at a cool $100,000, courtesy of event sponsor Nvidia.

Tonight, id cofounder and technical director John Carmack will take the stage with id CEO Todd Hollenshead to deliver the QuakeCon keynote address. Some expect the duo to reveal id's first game featuring the id Tech 5 engine, an announcement many thought would occur at this year's E3 Media & Business Summit.

Check back with GameSpot for more announcements and revelations from all three events.

Discussion

28 comments
smithy1185
smithy1185

Argh I was going to go to QuakeCon but had another trip planned at the same time. I'm definitely going next year!

wild_world_girl
wild_world_girl

duke121005 : Not true - The reason bubblegum pop music blows harder than your average heavy metal is because they don't write their own songs. Pop stars are packaged products that marketing guys come up with, while heavy metal bands remain more traditional, hard-working musicians (even if you don't like the souond of their music)

jazilla
jazilla

I am really looking forward to Pirates of the Burning Sea. A pirate MMO sounds like an awesome idea.

staley6565
staley6565

The only reason WoW is so popular is because of the casual gamer element. In EQ, the casuals were downright pathetic...whereas in WoW, no matter how hard you raid and crap, you character is only slightly better than those in casually crafted epics, and PvPers. Yes raiding gear is better, but it's not night and day like it should be between casuals and hardcores. This is why Blizz gets the most success, because the game is easy to be "uber" in. NOT because its better than the EQs or whatever...it's just better at making 12 year olds want to play it. Despite the game being crappy, I still enjoy FFXI because putting time in is rewarding, and all the stuff you do isn't trumped 6 months later when they make all your gear worthless crap.

duke121005
duke121005

Except that heavy metal blows? Classical yes, but metal is on the same level as "bubblegum pop music."

Diernes
Diernes

*cough* EQ2 owns WOW. sorry. Just because WOW has 9 mill subscribers does not make it a superior game. Its the same reason why millions of people listen to bubblegum pop music instead of classical or heavy metal. Its easier to digest, but no where near good.

gamst3r
gamst3r

blizz con and quake con! soe sucks

Pete5506
Pete5506

lol.....I just want good news

finalsquall76
finalsquall76

Sony should call their Soe Fan Fare. Socon = Socom :P

chrisdojo
chrisdojo

quake.....lol. past your prime.

H3llstrike
H3llstrike

I hope that they reveal Castle Wolfinstein as the new Id tech 5 engine game coming soon to PC and consoles plz ID......

darkknight109
darkknight109

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

playa42018
playa42018

I wonder which event has the most girls? (That aren't paid to be there of course).

darendt69
darendt69

lol ...nice....Texas is the FPS Capital....figures

GodsBusy
GodsBusy

Hope id does unveil a new game.

GrimGravy
GrimGravy

wish i was at blizzcon this year :(

LexLas
LexLas

QUAKECON ! Wow it even sounds cool, I wants to go !

runstalker
runstalker

They should combine all three events and call it SausageFest 2007. Tens of thousands would attend, and half the people would be fat guys wandering around muttering, "Yo, where da sausage at?"

rdo
rdo

i would like to go to quake con. i wish epic would start an unreal event.

SpazH3d
SpazH3d

Doom 4 OMFG, now with no flashlight!! you heard it here first!

Imperial_Colone
Imperial_Colone

i live in dallas but i have yet to go to quake con grrr

Scroll-Lock
Scroll-Lock

Can't wait to see what Carmack unveils at quakecon.