Why Blizzard cancelled BlizzCon this year

  • Blizzard has decided to cancel BlizzCon this year.
  • The company says that it will instead show off its games at other livestreamed and in-person events throughout the year.
  • Officially Blizzard says that it wasn’t owner Microsoft that influenced the decision.

There will be no BlizzCon this year, confirms Blizzard Entertainment. The convention that sees over 40 000 attendees in recent years is used by the company to promote its latest and upcoming games and updates, and for attendees is a means to meet with the vast online community that exists on Blizzard’s many games.

“After careful consideration over the last year, we at Blizzard have made the decision not to hold BlizzCon in 2024. This decision was not made lightly as BlizzCon remains a very special event for all of us, and we know many of you look forward to it,” the company said in a news post.

“While we’re approaching this year differently and as we have explored different event formats in the past, rest assured that we are just as excited as ever to bring BlizzCon back in future years.”

There is a possibility that BlizzCon will indeed return again, despite fears that it could go the way of E3. The convention was started in 2005 following the launch of The Burning Crusade, the World of Warcraft expansion that made Blizzard unbelievably wealthy, but the event hasn’t been held every year since.

It missed 2006, 2012, 2020 for obvious reasons, and 2022. Now as 2024 will also be missed, Blizzard says that it is planning other events throughout the year – “whether in person or virtually.” The company will probably use these events like showcases similar to Ubisoft, PlayStation, Xbox and other major game makers and sellers to promote its upcoming titles, including the latest expansion of World of Warcaft, and the first expansion for Diablo IV.

It also seems Blizzard will start featuring their latest games at other industry tradeshows, which is unusual for the developer.

“To celebrate these upcoming releases and to bring our communities together in new and special ways, we will soon share some exciting plans for other industry trade shows and conventions like Gamescom. We can’t wait to tell you more about those plans soon,” it said.

It added that it is working on several global in-person events to celebrate the 30th anniversary of its Warcraft IP. These events will be held throughout the year. Blizzard adds that these events “will be distinct from BlizzCon.”

“Our hope is that these experiences – alongside several live-streamed industry events where we’ll keep you up to date with what’s happening in our game universes – will capture the essence of what makes the Blizzard community so special,” it concludes.

Why is Blizzard cancelling BlizzCon this year

While Blizzard says that it will bring BlizzCon back in the future, the announcement reads to us like an enormous departure for the company. In the past, BlizzCon was the only event of note reserved for Blizzard to show off its games. But a lot has changed for the company in recent years.

This includes the purchasing of Blizzard by Microsoft, and while the Starcraft developer says that Microsoft’s executive style is to “let Blizzard be Blizzard” and a statement seen by PC Gamer asserts that the decision to cancel BlizzCon was a “Blizzard decision” we can’t ignore Microsoft’s influence.

Especially given the impact of Microsoft’s influence, in particular, the laying off 1 900 employees across Activision Blizzard earlier this year, and the deal Microsoft struck with China’s NetEase to get Blizzard’s games back into the lucrative local market.

It is also possible that Blizzard decided to cancel BlizzCon because it is facing backlash from players, more than ever before thanks to years of negative press due to revelations about the internal culture at Blizzard’s dev studio and their treatment of past employees and rampant harassment and sexual misconduct allegations.

They have also earned the ire of their players due to poor decisions and dropped promises. For example, Blizzard spent a considerable amount of time promoting a single player campaign mode for Overwatch 2, and then didn’t fulfil these promises, at all, to the point where the Overwatch community is currently in limbo. And don’t get us started on Warcraft 3 Reforged.

The company has been publically embarrassed at BlizzCons in recent years, especially during Q&A sessions between developers and players.

[Image – Blizzard]


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