World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Launch Event


Genese DavisIt 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.

Genese DavisAnd 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. 😉


7 thoughts on “World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Launch Event

    • Exactly, Sonia. I completely agree. After working our fingers to the bone day after day to write every word on every page of our books, it really helps us appreciate how much designing, planning, and testing goes into making these games. 🙂

  1. Having not played the game in a little more than a year (I was deployed to Afghanistan then played SWTOR for a time) it was a spur the moment decision for me to attend the event that night. Had no idea what to really expect, but I must say I am EXTREMELY happy I chose to go. What a blast!

    I arrived at around 6:30 and spent most of the time chatting with a random player I was standing next to in the crowd. Also took part in the flash mob, in which I have to admit I only knew half the dance… was still fun though XD.

    Only gripe I have is that Gamestop rang me up for the wrong thing, giving me the regular edition instead of the collectors. Nerd rage! It was still awesome getting that and my /looted shirt signed by Blizz though.

    In any case, thanks for sharing your experience! Glad to see people had as much fun as I did.

    • Definitely! It was such a blast! Welcome back from Afghanistan and thank you for serving. ❤

      Sooooo glad you had a good time (minus the Gamestop mistake. Ugh.)

      I wonder if it was me that threw the /looted shirt to you? That'd be so wicked-cool. 🙂

  2. I played WoW for 6 years up until a month ago when I cancelled my account. It is a fantastic game, I gained a large portion of friends. Having run a guild of 500+ for that time, day in day out, I finally felt like I had out grown the game. Weird huh?

    For me, I was hooked on WoW for the medieval swords and dragons concept, the social aspect just made it all the more enticing. The organising, running of guilds, the “being the boss” as my guildies put it, was great. However, when I heard their direction went more towards pandas, LFR meant no more organising of raids as people could do them whenever, rather than as a team, Guildies only joined to leech the lvl 25 bonus/perks we had, rather than becoming part of our community…. I started to feel I was a long way removed from what enticed me to the game. So time to stop. MMO burn out me thinks

    The game HAS to evolve though, other wise it’d be stale. I think a Blizzard event would be pretty rock n roll though! 😉 Do you work for Blizzard?

    • I’m sad you no longer play, Damien, but I am very happy you had such a great overall experience. The new patches and expansions come with a lot of changes but like you said, without them the game would get stale. Every time they change shadowpriest I find something I don’t like at first, but then the changes grow on me. And I think that’s partly the point. Blizz is pushing me to find a new way to play my class and a new way to push my rotation to get top DPS! And in the end, I’ve found a whole new way to play (what feels like) a new game. I don’t work there but I volunteer at their events. Hope to meet up with you at one of them soon! BlizzCon 2013, perhaps? 😉

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