Blizzard has chosen to cancel BlizzCon 2021’s live event.
For the second year in a row, fans of Overwatch, World of Warcraft, and more will miss out on the developer/publisher’s huge gaming showcase. In lieu of hosting a second online-only event this year, Blizzard has opted instead to prepare an in-person and online event in early 2021. In a post on the BlizzCon website, Saralyn Smith, Executive Producer of BlizzCon, detailed the reasoning behind the change of plans.
“As guidelines in California around in-person gatherings continue to evolve and the status of the pandemic fluctuates around the globe,” Smith wrote, “the teams across Blizzard have been discussing what this means for one of the events we miss the most: BlizzCon.”
Unfortunately, while this year’s BlizzConline event in February was deemed a success, ongoing health and safety concerns relating to the COVID-19 pandemic meant the live event simply wasn’t feasible.
“Building an in-person BlizzCon is an epic and complex affair that takes many months of preparation,” explained Smith, “not just for us, but also for the many talented production partners, esports pros, hosts, entertainers, artists, and other collaborators we team up with locally and globally to put all of the pieces together
“The ongoing complexities and uncertainties of the pandemic have impacted our ability to properly move forward on many of these fronts, and ultimately we’re now past the point where we’d be able to develop the kind of event we’d want to create for you in November.”
There is hope for Blizzard fans next year, however. A “global event” is being prepared for “the early part of next year” which will feature a predominantly online showcase alongside “smaller in-person gatherings.” While BlizzCon proper will need to wait until 2022, it appears that next year’s earlier event will mark a change from BlizzConline 2021. More details on that event will be shared as the show develops.