BlizzCon 2013 Draws Huge Crowds On Opening Day

BlizzCon 2013 drew a huge crowd on its opening day as fans of Blizzard descended on the Anaheim Convention Center, sporting epic cosplay costumes and waiting on news of the game maker’s latest developments. They weren’t disappointed.

Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime took the stage on Friday to kick off the 7th BlizzCon fan event, telling the crowd, “From everyone at Blizzard, thank you for being here. Welcome home.”

The massive convention is ultimately for the fans, though there’s always a good amount of news about the company’s games sandwiched in with massive gaming sessions, posing in front of the WoW hearthstone, and searching for the best cosplays.

This year’s keynote speech was nothing to snooze through, as Blizzard began by announcing a new World of Warcraft expansion, new platforms, and details about Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, and much more.

Heroes of the Storm was BlizzCon’s first announcement, including trailers of the company’s long-in-production MOBA. Blizzard is modeling the game to compete with Valve’s DOTA 2 and Riot’s League of Legends. Game director Dustin Browder commented, “When we had the chance to make one of these games on our own, we just couldn’t resist.”

While BlizzCon 2013 attendees dutifully watched the trailers, they were more interested in the next two announcements: Hearthstone is coming to iOS and Android, and World of Warcraft is getting a new expansion: Warlords of Draenor. Rob Pardo took the stage to speak about Hearthstone’s development.

Pardo explained that Hearthstone is Blizzard’s “first free-to-play game, our first tablet game, and the first game we’ve announced and made playable in the same year.” There is no set launch date for the game, but it should go into open beta before the end of the year — hopefully.

Finally, the biggest news of BlizzCon 2013 is Warlords of Draenor. The new WoW expansion allows players to level their characters to 10. The expansion includes a new world, Draenor, new character models, and a new garrison system that allows players to create their own strongholds and recruit NPCs to live there. There is no release date set for the expansion.

What do you think of the announcements Blizzard made during the BlizzCon 2013 opening ceremonies?

[Image by Blizzard]