Blizzard’s fears were recently realized as the studio just announced the cancelation of BlizzCon 2020, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Industry giant Blizzard—the name behind critically acclaimed franchises Diablo and Warcraft—issued a warning last month that this year’s BlizzCon (short for Blizzard Convention) may not push through on account of the coronavirus health scare.
Yesterday, the California-based studio officially announced that the highly anticipated event was indeed canceled. Blizzcon Executive Producer Saralyn Smith addressed the community through a post on the convention’s official website.
An update on BlizzCon: https://t.co/wgMYpIfGS5
— Blizzard Entertainment (@Blizzard_Ent) May 26, 2020
Saralyn Smith’s BlizzCon statement
Smith mentioned in her announcement that the event’s cancelation was the result of thorough deliberation about the current state of affairs, and how they’ll be in the coming months.
She expressed her team’s fervent disappointment with how things turned out but offered up a silver lining to disheartened fans.
Smith explained how there were ongoing talks about a BlizzCon-like event that would be held online, meaning it would be less impacted by the effects of the pandemic. Despite their desire to launch the event this year, the logistics realistically point to an early 2021 opening.
Blizzard has nixed the #BlizzCon2020 set to run in November because of the #COVID19 pandemic. The game firm is mulling holding an online replacement, but this won’t be until early 2021, the event’s executive producer and ex-beach volleyball star Saralyn Smith said in a blog post. pic.twitter.com/YclSDTE544
— Yicai Global 第一财经 (@yicaichina) May 27, 2020
Other canceled gaming events
BlizzCon 2020 isn’t the only major gaming event of the year to get side-tracked as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), one of the most anticipated gaming expos of the year, broke the news of their cancelation during the second week of March, with the Tokyo Game Show the following suit earlier this month.
Several eSports events were also affected, with some competitions like the League of Legends Pro League and Call of Duty League getting axed. Others opted to switch over to an online format just to keep their events afloat.
The E3 team is devastated to share this news. This decision was not reached lightly, but it is the right one for the health and safety of all involved. Read our statement here: https://t.co/1uOWxTerN9 pic.twitter.com/gD2IxNACLX
— E3 (@E3) March 11, 2020
Blizzard’s upcoming titles
While news of BlizzCon’s cancelation is definitely dispiriting, Blizzard has been quite forthcoming with their intention to release more titles throughout the year, which gives fans something to look forward to.
— World of Warcraft (@Warcraft) November 1, 2019
Rumors have also been circulating about a long-sought-after remaster of the legendary action RPG Diablo 2. The alleged inside information was leaked by reputable leaker Julien Blary, the insider who predicted the announcements of Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4.
If the hearsay proves to be true, there should be a lot of new titles to tide gamers over until next year’s online BlizzCon event.
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