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BlizzCon > DiscussionJan 29, 2024 8:00 am CT

What do last week’s Blizzard layoffs bode for BlizzCon in 2024?

Last week’s layoffs and the concurrent cancellation of the Untitled Survival Game left an early black mark on Blizzard’s fortunes in 2024. While there have been assurances that the 2024 roadmap is not adversely impacted by the layoffs, one has to think there will be some fallout from such a massive layoff. One potential victim is BlizzCon 2024.

BlizzCon 2023 had been the first in-person convention since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and while it was a welcome return to the stage for Blizzard it was notable for being stripped down from prior years. The reasons for this remain unknown, but it may simply have been a case of keeping things simple for the first convention in four years and/or a budgetary consideration in light of Microsoft’s acquisition (which was still not completed when BlizzCon 2023 was announced). Regardless, it was hoped that BlizzCon 2024 would be a return to form.

Those hopes are in danger now. While it’s unknown which if any employees directly involved in BlizzCon lost their jobs last week, it’d be surprising if the team emerged completely unscathed. The cancellation of the Untitled Survival Game, though, may end up being the biggest reason for an abandoned BlizzCon 2024 — there’s currently nothing new in development that’s at the point where it’s ready to be announced like the Untitled Survival Game might’ve been.

That’s not to say there’s nothing new happening, but if you look at what the other franchises could announce at BlizzCon 2024 it’s nothing dramatic. The World of Warcraft team would likely not be talking about the next expansion Midnight until 2025, and every other currently-running game is locked into regular updates. It’s possible that if Diablo 4 Vessel of Hatred hasn’t been released yet that it could get attention, but it seems more likely it’ll already be out and we’ll just receive vague information about 2025’s planned expansion.

That said, there’s still hope. For one thing, we’ve not been told point blank that BlizzCon is cancelled yet so that should be considered a positive sign (it could easily have been included with the rest of the announcement last week). In addition, the Anaheim Convention Center still has several weekends open in October and November that BlizzCon could slot into — it’s typical for at least 10 days in a row to be blank to accommodate the needs of such a large convention as BlizzCon. Convention center space tends to fill up early so the longer a suitable gap remains the more likely it is that BlizzCon is happening.

Of course, the main reason to expect BlizzCon 2024 to happen is because this year is Warcraft‘s 30-year Anniversary and World of Warcraft‘s 20-year Anniversary. If ever there was a year that BlizzCon should happen it’s 2024, and I hope enough Blizzard employees will make sure that the Microsoft gaming execs are aware of it. Even if there are no major announcements a chance to celebrate such notable anniversaries in-person will entice many players to Anaheim.

What do you think? Should we keep the hope for BlizzCon 2024 alive, or do you expect Microsoft to kill it regardless of the Anniversary? And if it is held do you plan to go?

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Filed Under: Blizzcon 2024

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