Blizzard's website breaks as BlizzCon ticketing turns into a complete mess.
Blizzard’s forays into the event business took a big PR dent overnight. Tickets for this year’s BlizzCon went on sale Monday morning US time and Blizzard’s website promptly melted down. Tales abound of people unable to secure tickets to the event, with others having no problems.
Blizzard finally got the site working on Tuesday morning, where the tickets promptly sold out. A small release of tickets is left, which will undoubtedly sell out incredibly quickly.
Anger among the largely US base of people affected has been widespread. As is often the case with in-demand events, tickets were limited, but many feel that the wonkiness of Blizzard’s site deprived them of their tickets.
What I find even more fascinating is the sideline angst over those who attend BlizzCon with the intent of selling the attendee giveaways on Ebay. Blizzard has made a habit of giving attendees unique in-game vanity items, and this year the swag is scheduled to include a polar bear mount in honour of the upcoming Wrath of the Lich King expansion.
In fact, go to Ebay and there’s already a handful of auctions going for tickets/goodie bags for this year’s event – on sale for many times the $US100 BlizzCon ticket price.
This problem is becoming more common as players clamour for exclusivity in the game. The easy solution would be for Blizzard to link goodies to the account when someone buys a ticket, however, that sort of information is currently optional and people had been actively avoiding entering it on the Blizzard ticketing page in order to try and ensure that their purchase went through as quickly as possible.
Despite the ever-present forum outrage and threats of legal action, there’s little that can be done besides the PR work ahead for Blizzard. Knowing how the company learns from its mistakes, this won’t happen again. However, the Ebay item problem is only going to become more and more of an issue as Blizzard’s Rock Star status among gamers continues to grow.