SDCC 2014 – Blizzard Entertainment Showcase Panel Video
This is an unofficial video of the Blizzard Entertainment Showcase Panel held at the 2014 San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) on July 24th. Apologies for the shakiness of the video due to a tripod malfunction. Thanks to staff member @dperschonok for taking the video.
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A better look at the video trailer of the upcoming Blizzard Licensed Products shown during the panel can be watched below:
Official SDCC 2014 Blizzard Showcase Panel recap can be read over at the official WoW site.
Phan: First of all, welcome to the Comic-Con 2014 Blizzard Entertainment Showcase Panel. I want to say: Thank you so much for taking the time to join us today. Whether you are new to Blizzard Entertainment, or you are a long-time fan we are so grateful to have you here, to hang out with us, to spend time with us, and most importantly to geek out on the Blizzard universes that we all are so passionate about.
I want to know, up there, how many of you heart <3 StarCraft? Alright. What about those of you who desire Diablo? Anyone enthralled by Warcraft? How about "D"? ... All of the above. (Crowd laughs) Phan: And that's why we have Heroes of the Storm. How many of you thought I was going to announce a new Franchise?... Ok, that would have been too mean. So I am not here to do that., but I'll tell you what we are here to talk about, and that would be discussing the Blizzard games that you are already aware of, and of course, the gear that we all love to wear so much to show our pride and passion for the game we play. And so, I just want to say that this is our truly exciting year for Blizzard. We have a lot of great things to share with you all, and we wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for you; and so I just want to say that thank you for allowing us to do what we do. You are Blizzard, and we want to know if you guys are ready. Let's get started. (video clip plays at 10:05 - 11:48 showing past Blizzard events the past decade, and iconic people like Songhammer) Phan: Alright. Hope you guys are excited now. I am so proud and honored to introduce to you guys our panelists for today. The first guest is no stranger to this stage or any Blizzard stage. If you have enjoyed Blizzard games in the past 20 years, the chances are that this man was instrumental in making it a reality. He is Blizzard's dreamer and visionary. He is one part (#name), one part (#name), one part Gary Gygax, and definitely a part unicorn. Please put your hands together and welcome Blizzard Entertainment Senior Vice-President of Story and Franchise Development Mr. Chris Metzen. (crowd ovation) Metzen: Unicorn?! Phan: I just had a thought to say something special. Metzen: I get it. I get it. Phan: Alright, our next guest comes up straight from a ### world of Azeroth. (missing 12:43 - 12:46) adventures for his quest of glory. Some will call him a mad god, we like to call him Lead Quest Designer of World of Warcraft Mr. Ion Hazzikostas. Hazzikostas: ### 13: 04 - 13:05 (Applauses) Phan: This is a really great room, by the way. You guys are awesome. Ok. Next up. He is an author. He has written World of Warcraft: Ashbringer, Curse of the Worgen, and Pearl of Pandaria. He is two times New York Times Best Selling Author; and I didn't know this, but he could be a celebrity spokeperson for Mac & Cheese. Please, put your hands together for Blizzard’s Lead Writer on Publishing Mr. Micky Neilson.
Alright. Up next, he’s a man who built Blizzard’s Cinematic group from a fledging group of artists to a full-fledged film studio. He has directed countless cinematics, and a contributor of Legendary’s upcoming Warcraft featured film. Put your hands together for Senior Vice-President of Art and Cinematic Development … coming to six feet and three inches tall and weighs as much as I do… Mr. Nick Carpenter.
Phan: And last, but not least… our final guest today has been in the Game Toy Industry for 10 years, three of which he was allowed to see his family. He is Blizzard’s Toy Guru. He is our Tom Hanks in “Big“. Give it up for heavily-articulated, heavily-accessorized, Senior Manager of Toys and Collectibles Jason Bischoff.
Phan: … and these are our panelists for today — and before we get started, at Blizzard we really embrace our community, and really embrace all you guys very much; and I know I’m taking your time to be here with us is very important, and so we want to make sure that for you who are here to see Blizzard– first of all, who many people have never attended a Blizzard Comic-Con panel? Wow, that’s a lot of you guys.
Phan: Welcome! … and so, usually when you go to a party and you don’t know someone, there is always an icebreaker. So, I’d like to start of with an icebreaker with this group, to let those of you who are new to Blizzard and for the first time meeting these guys– to get to know them a little bit better. This table is full of knowledge. Blizzard knowledge; and just to kinda show you that– I’m going to ask each one of you guys [to tell me] How long have you worked at Blizzard Entertainment? Let’s start with Jason.
Bischoff: Six and a half years.
Phan: Alright. Nick?
Carpenter: Ahh, twenty years next month.
Phan: Wow, twenty years! I didn’t know you started so young at Blizzard. Alright, Micky. How about you?
Neilson: Mine was twenty years last December.
Phan: Congratulations! Ion?
Hazzikostas: Six years (### 16:00)
Phan: And then, Chris.
Metzen: I’ll be twenty-one next January.
Phan: Alright, everybody. Applause.
Phan: And now (### 16:15) in there as well, I have been working with Blizzard Entertainment for almost eight and a half years; and so we are all very passionate about Blizzard, and there is — again– a lot of knowledge right here. I’m not surprised, though, that Chris has been working at Blizzard the longest– and he does look the oldest…
(Metzen feels mortified and the crowd reacts: Awwww!!!)
Phan: …and the only reason why I’d say that is because when we were waiting backstage the security guy back there, and he was getting to know us, and the question he asks is: “How long have you guys been in the industry?“– and before he even gets to answer he looks over to Chris and he says: “Well, I know– you have obviously been for a very long time. You can just tell by looking at you.”
Metzen: Thank you …
Phan: So, anyway, tell me how–
Metzen: Am I (### 17:02) faster than everybody else.
Phan: Chris, how is it been like– Chris, Micky, Nick. You guys have been at Blizzard for 20 years. You have seen so much happen. How is it been. Kinda tell me your thoughts on how that’s been like. This helluva ride.
Neilson: To start it off, it’s really, what? Ten people? I think it was ten or eleven people when I got there, and it was just kids working on stuff that we really loved to work on. I got to animate Flash and Green Arrow for Justice League: Task Force. So I was a kid in a Candy Store. It was amazing.
Carpenter: We used to play Samurai Shodown, and we played a lot of games, and we still do; but we played this little game called Samurai Showdown, and it really defined our culture, you guys, and funny enough, if you look through our games you will see bits, hands and a lot of that stuff, I mean– we just kicked the shit out of each other.
Metzen: It is funny looking back. It is a trip that has been so long. I mean, it is pretty rare I think for the people in the games industry usually after an X amount of time go to a different studio doing that, and you can see a lot of the core at Blizzard are still together after something like twenty years– it’s kinda this weird band of brothers where we are family; and it’s weird that people hold together that long.
And it is funny, looking back, we started– we used to come to Comic-Con, just to buy back issues, you know, and back in the day, (### 18:31). It’s crazy to see how far this has came. We all grew up on comics, reading books, playing D&D, just being giant geeks– I mean in an age where– it wasn’t all that cool, we were always proud about what we did or whatever; but it’s weird in the last twenty years to see–in a weird way, we were almost in a post-geek age, you know, where the world doesn’t even have… my kids coming up now, like they would never ostracized for the things they are into. They would never be looked down upon for living adventure-time watching My Little Pony, and what an amazing time. Right?