MoP Launch Events – Great for the Devs, not for the USA

Blizzard announced their launch day events for the upcoming Mists of Pandaria release on September 25th.

I’ve never been to an official launch event, so I looked to see if there are any within driving distance of me (Florida, USA).

Here’s the list of launch events:


  • Irvine, California.  FEATURING:  Members of the WoW development team.


  • Cologne, Germany.  FEATURING Russell Brower  –  Director of Audio, Jason Hutchins  –  Game Producer, Gary Platner  –  Lead Environment Artist, Tina Wang  –  3D Artist, Kelli Hoover  –  Associate 3D Artist
  • Stockholm, Sweden.  FEATURING Chris Robinson  –  Art Director, Thomas Pieracci  –  Producer
  • Paris, France.  FEATURING Greg Street  –  Lead Systems Designer, Carlos Guerrero  –  Senior Game Producer, Jonathan Dumont  –  Lead Level Designer
  • Milan, Italy.  FEATURING Tom Chilton  –  Game Director, Terrie Denman  –  Senior Artist
  • Madrid, Spain.  FEATURING Cory Stockton  –  Lead Content Designer, Candace Thomas  –  Game Designer
  • London, UK.  FEATURING Scott Mercer  –  Senior Game Designer, Darren Williams  –  Senior Software Engineer
  • Moscow, Russia.  FEATURING John Lagrave  –  Lead Game Producer, Paul Kubit  –  Game Designer


  • Taipei, Taiwan.  FEATURING Sarah Verrall  –  Senior Level Designer, Tom Thompson  –  Lead Software Engineer

South America

  • Mexico City, Mexico
  • Santiago, Chile.  FEATURING John Hight  –  Lead Game Producer, Marcio Martins  –  Senior Software Engineer
  • Sao Paolo, Brazil.  FEATURING John Hight  –  Lead Game Producer, Marcio Martins  –  Senior Software Engineer


What strikes me as odd about this list?

Lets look in terms of area.  The continental USA (not including Alaska and Hawaii) has a total area of just over 8,000,000 square kilometers.  In that area there are approximately 2-3 million WoW players.

Europe has a total area of just over 10,000,000 square kilometers and holds a similar number of WoW subscribers.

The numbers are fairly comparable as far as size and player base.  So why are there six events in Europe and only one in the USA?  Why does Europe have all of the big-name players in WoW development, while the Irvine event gets unnamed members of the development team?

Clearly the answer is that this is a perk for the Blizzard devs.  Ghostcrawler gets a company-paid trip to Paris out of this.  Tom Chilton gets to visit Italy.  etc…  I don’t begrudge them this perk.  They do work hard and they deserve a reward.

However, as a USA WoW player I feel left out.  Blizzard events are always held in Irvine, which is 2,495 miles away from me.    Considering that the east coast of the US has more than twice the population of the west coast, it would seem reasonable for Blizzard to come out to my side of the country once every couple of years.

But they don’t.  /sigh




9 Responses to “MoP Launch Events – Great for the Devs, not for the USA”

  1. 1 BenDover
    September 7, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    The US is one country, albeit a quite large one. Europe is a continent with several countries. It’s logistically a bit harder to go from border to border, than it is to just cross state lines. Besides, most Blizzard events have historically happened in the US, instead of anywhere else, even though the player numbers over at Europe are about the same as they are in the States. Ain’t it about time Europe gets some love too?

    • September 7, 2012 at 1:30 pm

      The one-country-versus-many-countries distinction is mostly irrelevant. For any trip, no matter whether within a country or outside, the major factor is distance. Irvine, California is over two thousand miles from me. That’s either plane fare (hundreds of dollars) or three days of driving each way.

      Blizzcon is in the US every year, but it is always in Irvine, California. For me and most players on the US east coast, that is just as inaccessible as if it were in Europe.

      All I’m saying is that one launch event in the entire USA is too few. If they had one in California, one in Chicago, and one in New York, that would make logical sense. They could do that without cutting too much out of the European events.

      • 3 BenDover
        September 8, 2012 at 6:23 am

        I guess we all agree on the fact that it’d be nice to have more of these kinds of events. I honestly doubt many people would even travel to the next big city for this, at least not unless they have a few free days to spend there. As a European, even if some of these events are only a few hours flight away that would mean spending at least 2 days on the road for an event that lasts only a few hours. Maybe I’m just old beyond my years, but for that’s not really worth it.

      • September 8, 2012 at 7:47 am

        I don’t disagree. If they had a launch event in New York I wouldn’t go, personally. If they had a convention there, like a mini-Blizzcon, I’d consider it.

        Still, its like they aren’t even trying to reach out to customers in the US. In Europe they are hitting very large cities within range of millions of people. They have events in six of the seven largest countries in Europe. I’d guess that the six cities they have chosen are within one day’s drive of a large fraction of Europe’s population. Well, western Europe in any case.

        In the US it is in Irvine, which is near Los Angeles. How could they ignore New York and Chicago? Their only US event is within driving distance of less than 1/4 of the US population.

        I’m not saying that I would go. I just think its a little surprising how different the events in Europe versus the US are.

  2. 5 Talarian
    September 7, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    As a developer myself, who works on a product with a 2 – 3 year release cycle, I think the devs should get to celebrate their release. Development is extremely hard work, with gruelling hours, especially in the gaming industry.

    The other possible explanation is that perhaps their market research figures that they’d get more bang for their buck holding events across Europe over the US? Marketing is big business, and I imagine they’ve a data-based reason for it.

    • September 7, 2012 at 1:25 pm

      Maybe I’m a cynic, but I doubt there is a data based reason. It looks pretty obvious to me that they just want to visit Europe.

      That said, I do agree that they deserve their perks, and I said so in the post.

  3. 7 Thiago
    September 8, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    dude! at least you guys has Blizzcon every year! except this one,,
    I am a brazilian blizzard fan living in sao paulo and this is the first time in all wow history thant gonna have
    a wow exp. launch event in my country.

    • September 9, 2012 at 2:17 pm

      Blizzcon is over two thousand miles from me. When you say that “we” have Blizzcon, it doesn’t mean much for me. Its an airplane trip for either you or me. Your flight is a bit longer than mine, but that’s the only difference. You have just as much chance of attending Blizzcon as I do.

      But you get a launch event, and I don’t. 😦

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