BlizzCon might not be the biggest fan event in the gaming industry, but it's been around for quite a while. However, in recent years, this event has had a tough time. It has been forced to rethink and cancel in-person events due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and now it looks like Activision Blizzard are going to be "reimagining" the event further in the wake of a damning lawsuit from the State of California - the one about the horrendous workplace environment, discrimination and harassment.
Blizzard has announced that BlizzCon 2022 - which was expected to be another BlizzConline experience in February 2022 - has been cancelled. Why was BlizzCon 2022 cancelled though?
BlizzCon 2022 cancelled for "reimagining"
It's hard to avoid thinking that this has all come at a convenient time for Activision Blizzard - given the lawsuit - but their statement on the cancellation of BlizzCon 2022 does little to mention that, understandably.
The Open Letter to the fans said the following:
" 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."
BlizzCon 2022 has been cancelled for two main reasons, according to Blizzard. The studio wants to spend more time focusing on their development teams and supporting those working on new games. In addition to this, they want to spend some time thinking about how they can change BlizzCon's format to better suit the changing landscape of the industry.
It seems fair - however, BlizzCon is already one of the most fan-friendly experiences out there. A major part of BlizzCon in recent years has been the cosplay competitions and "Murlock March". We understand this isn't for everyone, but you don't get quite as much focus on that at other events.
It all seems like an experience that's been tainted by the recent news regarding Blizzard's workplace culture. Things are changing and perhaps it is best to keep BlizzCon on ice until they do.