BlizzConline Cancelled for 2022

We have gone from no BlizzCon during the pandemic to no BlizzConline now as Blizzard continues to thrash about in the spotlight of it current hostile workplace crisis.

BlizzCon in Blue

Blizzard announced in a post titled Reimagining BlizzCon that the planned early 2022 BlizConline even has been cancelled:

To the Blizzard community,

We’ve decided to take a step back and pause on planning the previously announced BlizzConline event scheduled for early next year. This was a tough decision for all of us to make, but it’s the right one.

Any BlizzCon event takes every single one of us to make happen, an entire-company effort, fueled by our desire to share what we create with the community we care about so much. At this time, we feel the energy it would take to put on a show like this is best directed towards supporting our teams and progressing development of our games and experiences.

Additionally, we would also like to take the time to reimagine what a BlizzCon event of the future could look like. The first BlizzCon was held 16 years ago, and so much has changed in the time since—most notably, the multiple ways in which players and communities can come together and feel like they are a part of something bigger. Whatever the event looks like in the future, we also need to ensure that it feels as safe, welcoming, and inclusive as possible. We’re committed to continual communication with our players, and we see BlizzCon playing a big role in that going forward. We’re excited about what we’ll do with the event when we revisit it in the future.

One more thing we wanted to make clear: even though we aren’t holding BlizzConline in February, we’ll still be making announcements and updates for our games. We’re proud of our teams and the progress they’ve made across our games. We have a lot of exciting upcoming news and releases to share with you. You’ll continue hearing about those through our franchise channels, with the talented people on the BlizzCon team playing a part in supporting these efforts.

We’ll miss seeing you, but don’t worry. We’ll be back together soon.

This won’t be the first time the company has skipped a BlizzCon event.  Back in 2012 they gave it a miss because the company was too busy (though, in hindsight one might ask “too busy with what?”), and in 2020, as mentioned above, the event was transformed into an online experience that was delayed until February of this year.

But to give even the online version a miss seems like a pretty strong statement about the level of discord that they may be seeing within the company due to the state investigation and the removal of a number people of leadership positions, starting with J. Allen Brack.

They do get in there and make sure we know that we’ll still be getting updates and announcements for their various titles, and I am sure if they came out and announced the next World of Warcraft expansion we’d be hard pressed to miss it.  But announcements are no substitute for having your community focused on you for hour long presentations.

Of course, aside from the expected next WoW expansion and maybe release dates for Diablo IV or Diablo Immortal, there isn’t much on the Blizzard radar right now anyway.

As to what a “reimagined” BlizzCon, online or otherwise, will end up looking like in the future is still very much up in the air I am sure.

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7 thoughts on “BlizzConline Cancelled for 2022

  1. Esteban

    “But announcements are no substitute for having your community focused on you for hour long presentations.”

    Yes, which makes this strange.

    You’d think their biggest PR event would present an excellent opportunity to build up some stature for their new showrunners and begin to try to draw a line under the tyre fire. Unless they really have nothing to say at all.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bmyers

    I kind of suspected that once Morhaime was gone, that Activision would start limiting or doing away with Blizzcon. There are dozens of high profile events worldwide that they can send a small contingent too for release news. Why spend millions on a slightly profitable event. Keep those remaining employees in line and working. There’s no time to play or enjoy interacting with fans at any level.

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  3. Pallais

    I’m not surprised at the cancellation. Trying to have multiple big announcements on a yearly basis isn’t easy for Blizzard, historically. They are lucky they have one good, big announcement a year. From a PR perspective it is better to announce things when they get the biggest hit instead of trying the ‘annual results’ method.

    Another thing, Blizzcon seemed to be more of an ego-boost for the developers than necessarily a fan outreach/appreciation event. Given all that has come out, it’s better from a PR perspective to not put the devs under that microscope. Any mistake or non-mistake-that-gets-blown-out-of-shape would be a PR disaster. Blizzard already has enough self-inflicted wounds. They don’t need to potentially add more.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: BlizzCon - Battle Stance

  5. Nogamara

    @Pallais I don’t know, history would claim I have no clue, but in my imagination it shouldn’t be that hard to not step onto everyone’s toes on such an occasion. Gamers are fans, not just customers. It should be easy to have a good amount of goodwill because they’re excited and go there to meet friends and have fun. Contrast that with any non-gaming tech event and the worst press I remember being “it was boring” for the general audience who didn’t go there for the announcemounts, but for… everything. So while I think you’re right that they might want to avoid further mistakes but I just don’t get how we arrived in this situation in the first place…

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