Activision Blizzard Cancels Blizzcon 2020

👤by Tim Harmer Comments 📅26.05.2020 21:28:18

Blizzard Entertainment's fans will be devastated to hear that BlizzCon 2020, previously pencilled in for November, has been cancelled in the wake of the ongoing fight against COVID-19. An organiser statement issued in April outlined many of the challenges to be overcome nationally before the convention can take place, and it was left to Executive Producer of BlizzCon Saralyn Smith to follow-up with official word that it could not go ahead.

Hello Blizzard community,

Several weeks ago, I shared an update about our uncertainty around holding BlizzCon this year. Since then, a lot has changed . . . and a lot also hasn’t changed. During this time, we’ve had many discussions about what holding a convention could look like in light of all the health and safety considerations we’d want to make. We’ve also talked about different paths we could take, and how each one could be complicated by fluctuations in national and local health guidelines in the months ahead. Ultimately, after considering our options, we’ve come to the very difficult decision to not have BlizzCon this year.

We’re feeling deeply disappointed about this decision, and imagine many of you will feel the same. I truly love BlizzCon, and I know that’s a sentiment shared by everyone at Blizzard. We will sorely miss connecting with so many of you at the convention and “recharging our geek batteries” this fall.

But we will meet again!

We’re talking about how we might be able to channel the BlizzCon spirit and connect with you in some way online, far less impacted by the state of health and safety protocols for mass in-person gatherings. We’d want to do this as soon as we could, but given that this is new-ish territory and the different factors involved, it will most likely be sometime early next year. BlizzCon is also a stage for big esports events in Blizzard games each year, so we’re also looking into alternatives for supporting some of the high-level competition that would normally take place at the show.

We’ll tell you more about our plans as they develop—but in the meantime, we hope to see you exploring the Shadowlands, hanging out in the Tavern, pushing the payload (do it!), and wherever else in the Blizzard universes you may roam.

Stay safe and stay well,
Saralyn Smith
Whirlwind Barbarian, Executive Producer of BlizzCon

BlizzCon is one of the highlights of the gaming calender, whether it be due to surprising new game reveals or attendee related drama (or, in the case of 2018's Diablo Immortal reveal, both!), and it draws tens of thousands of people every year. This year's event would probably have focussed on the development of Diablo 4, the reveal of potentially another remastered classic, and perhaps something no-one outside of Blizzard HQ can foresee. Major announcements scheduled for Autumn 2020 may now take place online in early 2021, or at best alongside the makeshift gaming festivals being streamed to replace E3 and similar expos.

One silver lining of BlizzCon's cancellation is that developers will no longer have to set aside resources to create content for public display, and can instead focus on creating games despite the unusual conditions they're currently working under. Shadowlands in particular, World of Warcraft upcoming 8th expansion, has a 'year's end 2020' launch window that it would struggle to meet at the best of times given the paucity of content showcased at 2019's event.

The news will nonetheless be a bitter pill for fans who use BlizzCon as an opportunity to meet friends they've made online, show off fantastical cosplay creations, and interrogate developers they otherwise have few ways of meaningfully discussing game design with. And all credit to Blizzard for making a relatively prompt announcement, before most prospective attendees would have made concrete travel plans and budgeting decisions.

SOURCE: BlizzCon 2020 Update

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