Dragon*Con doesn't offer much in the way of console gaming, at least as far as I've seen. What it does offer is a place for fans who enjoy Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOs) like World of Warcraft, a chance to get together and discuss similar games coming down the pike.
Unfortunately, many of the game's manufacturers, like "World of Warcraft" makers Blizzard, aren't interested in attending the event, according to Kevin Stallard, who runs http://www.dragoncon-mmo.com/ and was heading up the programming for an upcoming games panel.
"You go to their Web sites look for PR contacts and there's none to be had," Stallard said.
That's too bad, because Blizzard, the makers of World of Warcraft, would be amazed at the dedication of their fans. Going to the panel I felt a real sense of urgency from fans who wanted to be connected to their favorite online games- and I felt the frustration of them being denied access.
When the room was asked which upcoming games they wanted to talk about, more than a few people chimed in with "Warhammer Online" from EA Mythic, slated to launch in 2008.
"EA Mythic wasn't interested in coming," Stallard said. Tommorrow, the entire day will be dedicated to various topics surrounding "World of Warcraft."
In the interest of fairness I sent an e-mail to both companies; we'll see what they say.
Two companies which did make the panel were Sony Online Entertainment, makers of "Ever Quest," and Funcom, makers of "Anarchy Online" and the upcoming "Age of Conan."
"(Game makers) love to control the message," Stallard said. "They love to control the forum."
Dragon*Con, he said, is different.
"This is democracy in action," Stallard said. "IF you don't like (what the company has to say) you can walk out and go get an autograph."
Many of the people attending the panel were interested in what will be the game to unseat "World of Warcraft" as the reigning MMO champ, counting "Age of Conan" and "Warhammer" as likely contenders.
"It's just the way 'Ever Quest' was before 'World of Warcraft,'" Stallard said. "It was, 'what's going to beat EQ?'"