Blizzard Entertainment may have charged $125 at the door for its 20,000 attendees this year at BlizzCon in Anaheim, but even that price point may not be enough to make the show alone profitable for the company. The event became a merchandise mover and brought in pay-per-view revenue through DirecTV in 2009, but the company admits that the show isn't profitable by itself.
"BlizzCon is operated at a substantial loss for the company," Frank Pearce revealed this week at the 2009 Austin Game Developers Conference, according to GameSpot. "It's a huge marketing opportunity, so that's the benefit we get out of that. But in terms of any kind of financial gain, it actually is a loss for us."
The revelation doesn't come as a huge surprise, mainly due to the overhead Blizzard has to pump into the show for space rental, celebrity appearances and other promotional endeavors that go into making it happen. BlizzCon should also be viewed as a targeted marketing endeavor for the company, so by the time various budgets are considered, it's entirely likely that profits from the "Warcraft," "Starcraft" and "Diablo" franchises are more than enough to justify the expense.
"[T]his year, 20,000 players purchased tickets to the show, and tens of thousands more followed along on television and the Web via DirecTV," according to a Blizzard statement. That's a lot of advertising.
Are you surprised to learn that BlizzCon operated without a profit this year? Do you make it out to the show this year? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.