No BlizzCon in 2012, Battle.net World Championship spun off

Diablo clickfiends, StarCraft stratmasters, and World of Warcraft junkies have been able to share their love of all things Blizzard in-person at BlizzCon since 2005, but this year they'll need to find a new outlet for that pent-up glee. Blizzard revealed today that the convention will skip 2012, while its pro-gaming strand is being spun off into its own event, the 2012 Battle.net World Championship.

Explaining the delay, Blizzard said that as well as setting up the new 'eSports' event, "We're also heavily focused on getting Diablo III, Mists of Pandaria, and Heart of the Swarm into players' hands as soon as possible. In light of our jam-packed schedule, we've decided to hold the next BlizzCon in 2013."

2012 will be the first year since 2006 without BlizzCon. The first convention was held in 2005, then skipped a year, but has held been at the Anaheim Convention Center in California every August or October since. There's certainly demand for it, as tickets always sell out almost instantly. However, Blizzard insists BlizzCon's not meant to make money--directly, at least--and actually runs at a loss.

The new tournament will be held somewhere in Asia "toward the end of 2012," and will include Blizzard's StarCraft II and World of Warcraft Arena world championships previously held at BlizzCon.

Specific dates and locations for BlizzCon 2013 and the World Championship are promised "in the months ahead."