2020 has not been kind to physical events and conventions, with many going digital and others pulling the plug. For Blizzard, the case is both: BlizzCon 2020 ended up being scrapped, while next year’s iteration is confirmed to take place in the online space.
As it turns out, the company is looking to host its annual jamboree in the early part of 2021. The news comes after Activision’s second-quarter earnings call, where president J. Allen Brack affirmed that the plan is still going ahead.
“We are planning on channeling the spirit of BlizzCon into a virtual event in the early part of next year,” said the man during the call’s Q&A session. “We’re really fortunate to have a passionate and engaged community that’s really looking forward to what we’re creating and what we’re working on. And we’re looking forward to sharing what the teams have been working on for that event.”
It is an awfully vague statement that reveals little about what the team has in store, but Brack did tease that “a number of initiatives” outside of the Diablo, Overwatch, and World of Warcraft universe is currently in the works. Considering Blizzard’s experience in hosting online events, the complete shift to a digital platform is very much logical and expected, especially with virtual tickets and selected free streams being event mainstays for years now.
Besides, the industry giant probably needs its most popular showcase to bounce back from its tarnished reputation. Blizzard’s poor handling of the Blitzchung debacle back in 2019 has sparked outrage and disappointment among the community, with a recent wage disparity furore further driving the nail in the coffin. As much as BlizzCon is a tradition, it is also a distraction from the company’s deeply-seated issues, and hopefully nobody forgets that in view of shiny, greatly-anticipated game reveals.
Si Jia is a casual geek at heart – or as casual as someone with Sephiroth’s theme on her Spotify playlist can get. A fan of movies, games, and Japanese culture, Si Jia’s greatest weakness is the Steam Summer Sale. Or any Steam sale, really.