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.
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.