Blizzard is making the concept of a virtual ticket more enticing by including a free demo of its upcoming WoW Classic as part of its virtual BlizzCon ticket.
Virtual ticket holders (eg. those that are not physically at the conference) will get access to the demo between 2 – 8 November. It’ll let players access one early level zone for the Alliance and another for the Horde. The 6 day window means that those who attend the convention (where the demo will also be playable) still have time to have a more in-depth look at it after they get home too.
The virtual ticket comes with other perks, such as a new Demon Hunter skin for Sombra in Overwatch and the usual access to all stages / panels at the convention, and in game loot for some of their other games. All in all, it sounds like a cool way to let die-hard fans participate if they so wish – but it comes at a pretty steep price of $69.95, so they really do need to make sure it feels worth it.
The WoW Classic demo is the company’s first reveal of their recreation of old school WoW, before the multiple expansions introduced pandas and some other stuff that increasingly turned off purists. There were fan-made recreations of the good old days of WoW, but the most popular of these was controversially taken down by Blizzard in 2016, citing protection of their intellectual property.
But Blizzard know there’s an appetite for oldschool WoW (that is, the version that originally kicked off this juggernaut series in 2004 and prior to any expansions), so they’re monetising that opportunity for themselves. Which is fair enough, I guess – they are a company, after all.
They’ve further indicated just how much effort it would be to translate the technology they first used to today’s standards (it has been 14 years), and said they didn’t want it to feel like they were managing 2 MMO’s at the same time. It’ll be interesting to see how big of a project the Classic version turns out to be, in light of these comments.
BlizzCon officially kicks off on October 25, but the main event is on the 2 – 3 November. Virtual tickets are available now from the Blizzcon website.