Expanded BlizzCon 2009 coming in August

Blizzard confab descends on the Anaheim Convention Center two months earlier than last year; fans to flood four expo halls.

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There's not much in the gaming hemisphere that can rival the popularity of Blizzard Entertainment's massively multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft, but the publisher's BlizzCon convention comes close. As part of his opening remarks last year, Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime said that whereas the first BlizzCon took three weeks to sell out, BlizzCon 2008 sold its 15,000 tickets within a matter of 15 minutes.

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For this year's show, Blizzard is securing even more floor space at the Anaheim Convention Center to better accommodate its fans' crushing demand. In announcing BlizzCon 2009 today, the publisher said that it plans to extend its presence at the ACC from three convention halls to four.

Blizzard fans won't have to wait as long for the convention to arrive, either. Advancing from its October date last year, the publisher said BlizzCon 2009 will take place August 21-22. The date comes two and a half months after the industry's largest trade show--the Electronic Entertainment Expo--a convention Blizzard has said it will not be attending.

As in years past, BlizzCon will feature a variety of activities catering to the tastes of Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo fans. Those in attendance will be able to play prereleased builds of Blizzard's upcoming games, presumably Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty and Diablo III. The show will also include a variety of panels form Blizzard developers, casual and competitive tournaments, contests, a silent auction, and a merchandise store.

Blizzard has not yet announced pricing information or ticket availability.

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