We knew it was coming but here is the official word: BlizzCon 2020 is canceled due to COVID-19 and while we hate to see it, the move was expected and is understandable. To let fans know of the change of plans and what 2021 will look like, Blizzard Executive Producer Saralyn Smith took to the company's blog to detail more.
BlizzCon 2020 Cancelled Due to COVID-19
With so many events canceled and many areas around the world still under quarantine due to the continued spread of COVID-19, Blizzard has confirmed today that they would be the latest event to shelve their plans to err on the side of safety and cost-efficiency. "During this time, we’ve had many discussions about what holding a convention could look like in light of all the health and safety considerations we’d want to make," revealed Smith in a recent blog post. "We’ve also talked about different paths we could take, and how each one could be complicated by fluctuations in national and local health guidelines in the months ahead. Ultimately, after considering our options, we’ve come to the very difficult decision to not have BlizzCon this year."
BlizzCon is very unlike many conventions for the most obvious reason that it is exclusively a Blizzard-property event: Overwatch, Diablo, World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, and others. This event is all about cosplay, unabashed fandom, and connecting with the devs that make these experiences that so many love. While the previous two BlizzCons haven't been without their controversy, especially regarding Diablo Immortal, the environment always remained the same: unfiltered love and fandom.
With BlizzCon 2020 officially canceled, what's next? Many events have opted into a digital-only format to make attendance and reveals a safe affair and that's something Blizzard is looking into as well, just not for the usual timeslot. "We’re talking about how we might be able to channel the BlizzCon spirit and connect with you in some way online, far less impacted by the state of health and safety protocols for mass in-person gatherings. We’d want to do this as soon as we could, but given that this is new-ish territory and the different factors involved, it will most likely be sometime early next year. BlizzCon is also a stage for big esports events in Blizzard games each year, so we’re also looking into alternatives for supporting some of the high-level competition that would normally take place at the show."
Plans right now are still very much in the beginning stages of discussion, but Smith did mention that they will reveal more as soon as they have something more definitive to actually reveal. For now, we must push the payload all by our lonesome and cheer for Azeroth from afar.
It's sad to see so many events continued to be canceled and it's hard not to feel like 2020 as a whole is pretty much down in the dumps. Still, we have each other, we have guidelines to be safe, and we have epic games to lose ourselves in when reality becomes too much. Be safe, be healthy, and do all you can to keep yourself sane and happy during tumultuous times.
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Thoughts on the news that BlizzCon 2020 is canceled due to COVID-19? Any other feelings about previous events also shelved? Sound off with your thoughts over on Twitter @PrimaGames, we'd love to hear more!