It seems like there have been several issues with NYCC this year, starting with ticket issues, where 3 and 4 day passes sold out in record time, only to be sold by scalpers on eBay later. For the most part I don’t have a huge issues with this. It’s a difficult situation to manage because scalpers have pretty much ruined any event the same way, unless they take draconian steps like San Diego comic con has, which is also extremely hard to get tickets to. NYCC has made some pretty big changes this year, and some decisions we can’t really judge until the convention is over with, but one thing I’m against is NY Super Week. On the surface NY Super Week seemed like a potentially good idea, but now it feels like a scam.
NY Super Week was pitched as this idea where other events are happening all week long both before, and during NYCC so you have a full week of events to do. The idea sounds great! Why wouldn’t I want more to do? How could this go wrong? Unfortunately most of the events at Super Week are ticketed events that are a completely separate cost from NYCC. Some of these events are hundreds of dollars, so they aren’t cheap by any stretch of the imagination. They also weren’t well advertised. I found out about several events after they were already sold out. If this is happening, you would figure the Main Hall must be booked solid the entire weekend with little wiggle room to book things. If you assumed that like I initially did, you would be wrong. There are pretty large gaps on certain days in the Main Hall, where it will sit empty. To top it off, many of the Super Week events aren’t even close to where NYCC is being held. So if you happen to have tickets to go an event in Brooklyn during NYCC, you are probably going to have to leave the convention early to make it. I’m not sure if NY Super Week was something the guests wanted to do to make more money, or if it was an idea borne out by NYCC, but whatever caused it, I hope it doesn’t return in 2015. It just feels greedy all around.
Aside from my issues with NY Super Week, there are also issues with who’s actually coming. One of my favorite things to do in past years at NYCC was to get hands on with a lot of video games before they are released. Two years ago, pretty much every major game company showed up including Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo. Last year Microsoft and Sony weren’t around, but we still had pretty big companies like Ubisoft, and Nintendo. This year, most of the large video game companies aren’t showing up. It looks like the only game companies coming this year are Capcom, Bandai/Namco, and Square-Enix. I’m not really sure what any of those companies are going to bring with them this year. In previous years almost every video game company was there to show off their latest and greatest, and now they are nowhere to be found.
As far as guests go, the guest list at NYCC is still kind of impressive, but a lot of cancellations are starting to come in. While I can’t blame NYCC for scheduling conflicts, I do think they could have figured out that some of these guests were going to have issues well before Monday, when the convention starts Thursday. This Monday both Nestor Carbonell, and Henry Ian Cusick from LOST have both cancelled. These guests have photo packages that have already been paid for by con attendees. NYCC still hasn’t said how they will be handling refunds for these customers. While the extensive photo-op FAQ covers what happens if you miss your photo-op, it doesn’t cover what happens if the guest cancels.
All in all I’m still excited for NYCC this year, but I’m a lot less excited than I have been in previous years.