BlizzConline has been cancelled for early 2022

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Blizzard has announced the cancellation of the digital-only BlizzConline event that was planned to take place in early 2022. No specific reason was given for the cancellation, outside of the time and effort needed from the company as a whole to put an event like this together.

This would have been the second online BlizzCon event, with the company adapting from the fan gatherings that had taken place almost every year since 2015. That shift to online was, of course, fuelled by the pandemic limiting in-person events in 2020, as well as the challenges of putting together game announcements and reveals while working from home.

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However, it’s safe to say that the 2022 BlizzConline has been affected by a very different situation, as Blizzard and Activision face numerous allegations of workplace misconduct and several lawsuits off the back of them. Started by a DFEH lawsuit in July, it’s then led to employee walkouts, sponsors withdrawing from Blizzard’s Overwatch esports, staff departures and dismissals.

Even when Blizzard has managed to deliver a hugely popular game release in the form of Diablo II Resurrected, they’ve been plagued with server issues that left many players rightly peeved.

A major game showcase like BlizzConline would throw a large amount of pressure on the various teams at Blizzard to prepare game demos and announcements to a particular deadline. With that cancelled, some of that pressure is off, letting Blizzard take more time and make game announcements for major games like Overwatch 2 and Diablo IV as and when they’re ready, while also reconsidering what BlizzCon should be for current times.

Here’s the full statement from Blizzard:

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.

Source: Blizzard

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