In short: Blizzard is making some adjustments to its event plans amid multiple allegations of sexual assault and scrutiny by federal investigators. Rather than hosting BlizzConline next year, the company is ditching the concept entirely to focus its resources on what it believes is most important: game development.
Blizzard says this decision was a difficult but ultimately sure call for business development. He needs time to “rethink” what BlizzCon is and what it should be, using the resources he saves by not hosting an event to support his teams and “promote” his game development and expertise.
Blizzard’s announcement post is mostly corporate bullshit, and does not explicitly mention any controversy she has ended up in recently (probably for legal reasons). However, the company says it intends to make future BlizzCon events as safe, welcoming and “inclusive” as possible. In other words, there will be no more Cosby suites, at least not for the time being.
This news may disappoint some Blizzard fans, and to be honest, myself. It seems like a long time since we last held a large-scale BlizzCon event, and I really hope this hiatus is temporary and not a strategy that Blizzard plans to use in 2023 and beyond. It’s always nice to see an excited (or angry) crowd reaction when new Blizzard games and content are released, even if those reactions are virtual.
However, there is a silver lining here. Announcements for the various Blizzard franchises are still popping up, they just won’t be in one centralized event. Instead, you’ll see them spread through various “franchise channels,” which likely means Blizzard’s numerous social media profiles and game-specific blogs.
The BlizzCon team will help “sustain” these efforts so that they can be a little sharper and more engaging than usual. If there’s one thing the folks at BlizzCon are good at, it’s creating spectacle, for better or for worse.