Sadly, Blizzard has canceled their 2021 BlizzCon live event due to concerns about COVID-19. However, the gaming giant will replace it with a global event in early 2022 with both a physical and digital presence.
The information comes courtesy of an update Blizzard posted to the BlizzCon website. In this update, the show’s executive producer Saralyn Smith got right to the point. “As guidelines in California around in-person gatherings continue to evolve and the status of the pandemic fluctuates around the globe, the teams across Blizzard have been discussing what this means for one of the events we miss the most: BlizzCon.”
Continuing, she wrote, “We know some of you might be wondering about your own plans to potentially cross the country – not to mention oceans – and meet your friends, family, and fellow community members in California, so today, we wanted to give you a heads-up that we’ve decided we will not be holding BlizzCon this year.”
As disappointing as this is, Smith did have some good news to share. She confirmed Blizzard would be holding a different event in the “early part of next year.” And unlike Blizzard’s online-only event this past February, the 2022 BlizzCon event will be a physical event that also has online elements.
Ultimately, Smith was apologetic to fans and emphasized Blizzard’s commitment to putting on a quality event. “Building an in-person BlizzCon is an epic and complex affair that takes many months of preparation,” she wrote. “The ongoing complexities and uncertainties of the pandemic have impacted our ability to properly move forward on many of these fronts, and ultimately we’re now past the point where we’d be able to develop the kind of event we’d want to create for you in November.”
The cancellation doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Blizzard had to cancel their BlizzCon 2020 live event over similar COVID-19 concerns, instead holding the virtual BlizzConline event in February 2021. Despite the fact that things are improving as more people get vaccinated and California plans to fully reopen on June 15, there are still uncertainties, the possibility of changing guidelines, and the logistics of planning a large-scale event in a shortened amount of time.
Blizzard plans to release more information about their 2022 event as it becomes available. In the meantime, old-school Blizzard fans can look forward to playing World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade Classic when it releases on June 1.