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Blizzard Invitational: The Begginining

I'm out in Paris battling with a shonky wi-fi connection and looking at Blizzard games. While I'm primarily here for another site, I'm gonna throw up some updates here throughout the day.

Only been here a little while, but it's clearly it's going to be horrifyingly busy. There's a few thousand people already inside the venue by 9am, while what seems like an infinite queue of further visitors snake-circles around the convention centre's exterior. Those of us who've made it inside mutter in mild fear - /how/ is everyone going to fit inside?

In the hours preceding the much-anticipated introduction ceremony at 11.45, the crowds are focused on the more peripheral elements of Blizzard games. The official souvenir shop especially is drawing a huge audience – proof, if it were still needed, that Warcraft is beyond being a mere game. The CCG and miniatures booths, both laden with life-size WoW props, were busy with camera flash – as was the chance to sit atop a plastic recreation of the Frozen Throne itself, complete with Lich King helmet.

The Lich King server is still offline at the time of writing, which means those here to game rather than sight-see are clustered around Starcraft 2 terminals. What's fascinating is how comfortable everyone looks – for all its shiny newness this is a game that any Blizzard fan evidently finds instantly and comfortingly familiar.

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