For the past three summers, Sony Online Entertainment fans and Comic-Con attendees have gathered at the company's San Diego headquarters for an afternoon of food, music, freebies, tours, demos and socialization on the Saturday of Comic-Con. The convention draws in over a hundred-thousand attendees, and although our turnout isn't quite that high, we love opening our doors and welcoming our friends in for a visit.

If you weren't able to attend Block Party 2008, we've put together some highlights so you can see what you missed.


We couldn't have asked for more beautiful weather on Saturday. The sun was shining brightly and the air was a warm 73° with a nice breeze. It was perfect!

An hour before the event opened, we already had fans lining up. They waited patiently while we put the finishing touches on the tables and demo stations, and Erica, the Community Relations intern, entertained line members with games and prizes. As soon as it was 4:00, everyone filed in to the party.

Guests were greeted by members of the SOE Community Relations team and were given Block Party t-shirts. Then they wandered off to eat, drink, mix and mingle. An assembly of SOE developers, designers, producers and other team members was already gathered in the area, eager to meet some of our players and talk with them about our games.

Just as soon as the early arrivals had been admitted, the first bus showed up from Comic-Con. Perfect timing! For the next couple of hours buses continued to come, along with some guests who drove themselves, and the party really swung into action. With a bit of rock music to set the mood, and the tantalizing smells coming off the grill, the party was already set to be a hit.

Bus Line
The guests are greeted with free shirts
Block Party Shirt
This year's Block Party shirt design

The aroma of sizzling hamburgers and hot dogs was pretty enticing (at least for the carnivores present), but we also had veggie burgers for the non-meat inclined, and salad and fresh fruit. Of course no summer party would be complete without some deliciously cold ice cream goodies for those who wanted a sweet treat. Yum!

What better way to spend a beautiful Saturday afternoon than dining with friends, new and old, and talking about our favorite games. We couldn't imagine one, and we hope our guests agreed!

Members of the EQII team mingle

Enjoying the food and the great weather


Of course there was stuff for the kids to do, too. An airbrush tattoo parlor and a bubble machine entertained both kids and adults alike. We also had an interactive rules maze, set up in the parking lot by Free Realms Community Manager, which everyone could participate in.

As usual, Alan "Brenlo" Crosby, Sr. Director of Global Community Relations, had people doing all sorts of crazy things for a chance to win some awesome prizes.

Bubbles Puzzle



One of the coolest events of the day was comic book artist and DCUO Creative Director, Jim Lee, signing autographs for our guests. Not only did he sign posters and items that fans had brought along, but he hand-drew a DC character for everyone, too.

Fans walked away with one-of-a-kind Joker, Batman, and Wonder Woman drawings done especially for them, right in front of their eyes. Jim was kind enough to sign for so many people that he ended up staying quite a bit longer than originally planned. The fans (and employees) had a great time talking with him. Thank you for spending time with us, Jim!

Jim Lee
Jim Lee signing autographs

EQII Devs answered questions about their game

No Block Party would be complete without a horde of SOE demo stations and game team members on-hand to answer questions and show off their hard work. Guests got a glance at EverQuest, EverQuest II (what are those large buildings off the Antonica and Commonlands docks??), Vanguard, Star Wars Galaxies, Star Wars Galaxies Trading Card Game, Legends of Norath, and the next member of the SOE family, Free Realms, which is slated to be released later this year.

We also hosted private screenings of another upcoming SOE game, The Agency, and those who took the building tour were treated to a preview of a future SOE game we unveiled this month, DC Universe Online.



For the second year in a row, Foo U rocked Block Party. Three of the band members are SOE employees, and we were really excited to have them back at another one of our events.

Everyone who stood in the hour-plus line to get a tour of the SOE buildings was entertained by the sounds of Foo U, and then they got to see the inner workings of the company. They toured all three San Diego buildings, and also got a sneak peek at the Network Operations Center, or the NOC.

Foo U
Tour Line
The building tour line
Midori "Momochi" McDaniel, Sr. Community Relations Representative for EQII's Japanese community, sets out freebies

Thanks again to everyone who attended Block Party 2008! We had a great time and we hope you did, too. Please let us know what you thought about the event over at the Block Party thread on our forums.

Be sure to check out our past Block Party Recaps, from 2006 and 2007, and then make plans to attend Block Party 2009! You won't want to miss it!