BlizzConline 2022 is canceled as Blizzard “reimagines” BlizzCon
Blizzard had previously said there would be a second online-only version of BlizzCon in early 2022, but now it’s putting a hold on the event. We can still expect to hear announcements and news from the game developers, but instead of having a big organized convention, we’ll just have blog posts or update videos as they happen. We’ll still get all the information, just in a different format, so in some ways nothing is changing at all. New format, same show.
But BlizzCon has been keystone for the community for over a decade, and losing that time together with friends — often the only opportunity you had to see and meet people you played games with year-round — hurts. Even BlizzConline gave us an opportunity to hang out together in chat rooms and talk as we watched what was coming next, and no organized event means fewer chances to find that time together with our gaming buddies. That’s something I honestly didn’t understand that I missed until it was gone. And now I miss it a lot.
Yet even though I’m going to miss it, I agree that it’s time to reimagine what “BlizzCon” is and what it should be. Blizzard is currently wrestling with its own cultural problems — what the DFEH lawsuit refers to as a “frat boy” corporate culture — in which workers have been mistreated, abused, and discriminated against, including some very disturbing behavior from developers at previous BlizzCons. And while we haven’t seen Activision Blizzard implement serious corporate changes to prevent further abuse, we’ve seen a lot of content changes to remove references to abusive employees and strip out inappropriate content that reflects the frat boy culture that’s been festering inside Blizzard Entertainment for years, decades.
Blizzard employees have been taking a hard look at what Blizzard Entertainment is… and trying to change it to be something better.
And BlizzCon is part of that change, too. Now is the right time to rethink BlizzCon so it’s a fun and safe event for everyone, from the countless employees who put the event on every year to the eager fans who want to meet their favorite developers. As we’ve seen Blizzard do in its games, the convention framework needs to be examined, and everything that contributed to or came from that “frat boy” culture should be stripped away. It’s the right time to think about what gaming conventions of the future could look like, and how events like BlizzCon can bring the community together without causing harm.
I look forward to that BlizzCon.
But while we wait, here’s what Blizzard has said about BlizzConline:
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.
Please consider supporting our Patreon!
Join the Discussion
Blizzard Watch is a safe space for all readers. By leaving comments on this site you agree to follow our commenting and community guidelines.