With the COVID-19 pandemic showing no sign of going away anytime soon, Blizzard has officially made a decision about BlizzCon 2020. Due to the coronavirus, BlizzCon 2020’s physical event has officially been canceled. While Blizzard took some time to consider whether or not it could still be done, the lack of any upcoming resolution to the pandemic was the determining factor. Instead, Blizzard is now considering online alternatives to the esports tournaments and other events normally hosted by BlizzCon.
Blizzard announced the decision to cancel the physical BlizzCon 2020 via a press release on May 26, 2020. The tough decision was announced by Blizzard Executive Producer Saralyn Smith.
“Several weeks ago, I shared an update about our uncertainty around holding BlizzCon this year,” Smith wrote. “Since then, a lot has changed . . . and a lot also hasn’t changed. 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… Ultimately, after considering our options, we’ve come to the very difficult decision to not have BlizzCon this year.”
An update on BlizzCon: https://t.co/wgMYpIfGS5— Blizzard Entertainment (@Blizzard_Ent) May 26, 2020
As Smith said, this follows an update from back in April 2020 in which Blizzard was playing it cautious already with canceling BlizzCon 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic. The official cancelation might come as little surprise to many despite the event’s usual late-year dates. 2020 is already awash with cancelations such as that of E3 2020, gamescom 2020, and QuakeCon 2020. And it would appear that where some such as gamescom will pivot to online events like a newly formatted Opening Night Live, Blizzard is considering the same course of action with replacement events for BlizzCon 2020. BlizzCon does, after all, include panels, esports tournaments, and other activities which could still be done with an online adaptation. Smith also expressed as much intention.
“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,” Smith included.
While any chance of a physical BlizzCon 2020 may be off the table, we can likely look forward to seeing how Blizzard adapts later this year. Stay tuned to Shacknews for any information and updates on a BlizzCon 2020 online event.