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With BlizzCon, Blizzard’s massive yearly celebration, due in just 11 days, details of the tournaments, competitions and the video streaming solutions available to fans have been coming through all week.

Blizzard’s partners for this event provide several video streams to cater to fans that will not be able to attend, with the full live HD video stream available via DirectTV, just like with last year’s convention. The stream, however, will not be free:

August 21-22, 2009
DIRECTV Package Includes:

  • Over 16 hours of crystal clear high definition coverage
  • Live internet streaming footage
  • Exclusive interviews and commentary
  • Main stage presentations including opening ceremony
  • Tournament coverage and team highlights
  • BlizzCon 2009 exclusive World of Warcraft in-game pet, Grunty the Murloc Marine

Fortunately, not all of BlizzCon’s video streams are Pay-Per-View, as tournament play will be streamed live, free of charge, as recently announced by Cydra on Battle.net official StarCraft 2 forums:

We are pleased to announce that this year, for the first time, all of our streaming tournament coverage for BlizzCon will be available in both high-resolution and low-resolution formats, and you can choose whichever fits your available bandwidth. The BlizzCon website (http://www.blizzard.com/blizzcon/tournaments) will host one stream featuring StarCraft and Warcraft III events and another dedicated to World of Warcraft. As in previous years, all of this streaming tournament coverage will be provided free of charge. Be sure to tune in to find out which teams and players are the best in the world by visiting the BlizzCon site on August 21 and 22.

To clarify, the tournament coverage streams are free, but to watch panels, see new announcements as they are made, or receive the in-game pet, you will need to order the Pay Per View Internet stream (http://blizzcon.rayv.com/).

Intel Choose a Champion

Intel, one of the event’s key sponsors, will be holding a giveaway contest for not only the event’s physical attendees, but also via an online “guessing game”, where entrants will be able to win prizes by correctly guessing this year’s champions.

Intel at BlizzCon 2009

We’re excited for BlizzCon 2009 and we hope you are too! If you’re a fan of Blizzard games, this is the place to test out your skills. We’re hosting the Choose a Champion: BlizzCon 2009 contest where fans like you can submit your guess for which contestants you think will win this year’s tournaments for Warcraft III, World of Warcraft Arena Tournament and StarCraft Invitational.

Submit an educated guess (or take a stab in the dark) to select winners for either one or all three BlizzCon tournaments. Those who guess correctly will be entered to win one of three Asus G50Vt Laptops powered by Intel technology – one prize will be given away for each tournament.

How to enter Choose a Champion:

  • Register for the contest and submit your selections for Warcraft III and World of Warcraft Arena Tournament by clicking here
  • Entries for the StarCraft Invitational will be available in early August when Blizzard announces the bracket for this tournament. Check back for more info!
  • One entry per person

People on the floor will be presented with even more opportunities, as Intel will be giving out hundreds of prizes to this year’s attendees, including its latest generation of Core i7 processors.

Game On at BlizzCon 2009:

Fans lucky enough to be at BlizzCon this year will have even more chances to win. We’ll be giving away hundreds of prizes, including five Core i7 processors daily, for the Intel Game On: Wear it to Win contest. To participate, BlizzCon attendees can visit the Intel booth during regular BlizzCon 2009 show hours to receive a button. If Intel’s Prize Patrol spots you wearing or displaying the button during the show, you will be given a game card that can be redeemed at the Intel booth for a prize.

For the inside scoop on where our Prize Patrol will be at throughout the show, follow us on Twitter.

Let the BlizzCon 2009 countdown begin… We’ll see you there!

Blizzard has also made some unique merchandise available for those who have purchased a BlizzCon ticket, so if you’ve got one, pay a visit to Blizzard’s official store. Since the stores in the event (in accordance with other Blizzard’s public offerings… ) are notorious for their long waiting lines, this is a chance to avoid wasting time and pick up some goodies. Here’s a sneak peak, and be sure to visit BlizzPlanet for screenshots of the entire selection of unique products.

BlizzCon Store Page 1

In other, completely unsurprising news: in an official Activision Blizzard press release, titled

Activision Blizzard Announces Better-Than-Expected Second Quarter CY 2009 Financial Results, Robert Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard, has finally confirmed that StarCraft 2 will not be released in 2009.

As we prepare for next year, we have moved the expected release dates for two games, Activision Publishing’s Singularity and Blizzard Entertainment’s StarCraft® II, into 2010. However, we are increasing our calendar year earnings-per-share GAAP outlook and reaffirming our calendar year earnings-per-share non-GAAP outlook and still expect to deliver record non-GAAP operating margins. Although there is a great deal of economic uncertainty in the global marketplace, we remain focused on the opportunities afforded by our industry and will continue exploring potential new markets and business models that should enable us to continue expanding our operating margins,

Company outlook summary, however, adds the following clarification:

Blizzard Entertainment has moved the anticipated release date of StarCraft II to the first half of 2010 to coincide with the relaunch of its upgraded Battle.net® online -gaming service.

To those following StarCraft 2’s long and complex evolutionary path, this comes as no surprise. The social, E-sports and care-bear features planned to be implemented in next-gen Battle.net are extensive, and together with the actual StarCraft 2 balancing, testing and debugging left for the upcoming beta, the improbability of achieving Gold status within the five months left for 2009 is clear.


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