It was five o’clock in the afternoon, on Monday September 24th, four hours before Blizzard Entertainment’s Launch Event would begin. Already a buzz filled the air. The anticipation for the next expansion in the biggest online game in the world was palpable. As a player myself, I too know the excitement for a new World of Warcraft expansion. Long in advance, my friends and I prepared for this day. We pre-ordered the game, cleaned up our UI, cleared out our bags, and upgraded our computers. We’re the ones who camp out early in front of the stage, and who create the anticipation, right? Well, sure sometimes. But this was different. This time I got to see the behind the scenes before the fans arrived.
Back stage was a flurry of emotion. The developers, producers, artists, coordinators and marketing teams were nervous but hopeful about tonight. Budget, location, equipment, scheduling, interviews, guest appearances, even loot giveaway bags were all assembled, purchased, and organized. All that was left: execution.
And execute they did! Blizzard had a flawless launch event that had fun for everyone! For starters, Blizzard had a special surprise in store to kick off the night. FLASH MOB! Yes! Unbeknownst to everyone, five minutes before eight o’clock, a man with a whistle and a panda mascot started moving in the crowd. Techno beats filled the speakers and the entire Flash Mob ignited into dance. It was epic.
Next, Mike Morhaime took the stage welcoming everyone to the event, and began introducing the speakers to follow. Samwise Didier, Chris Metzen, Felicia Day, and Marc Messenger all described the upcoming expansion and how much it meant to them.
And of course we cannot fail to mention the every hour /Loot Rain! These were my personal favorite moments because I got to help make it rain by throwing out loot to the crowd. T-shirts, video cards, action figures, memory cards, mouse pads and more had the fans ecstatic.
At the end of the night, I kept thinking about how much this night meant to everyone—the makers of the game and the fans. As players we know our favorite games, buy games, live our games, and aren’t afraid to judge or praise them. But tonight I got to witness those on the other side of the stage. They taught me how much time and effort goes into creating epic entertainment… And how much they care about their games, their events, and us—the fans. Next time you play a game, hop on the developer’s forum, and give the developers a big hearty thank you! These games are their babies—their life’s work. Everything that they are right now, all their passion, creation, and dedication has poured into the product. Buy them the proverbial drink and give a cheers to their effort as often as you can. 😉