Blizzard Entertainment has announced that BlizzCon, the company's annual gaming festival and expo, will not be taking place as planned in 2020. BlizzCon's likelihood of occurrence was already in jeopardy due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it has now been confirmed that the event will be canceled due to the national health complications that are affecting humanity worldwide.
Saralyn Smith, Executive Producer of BlizzCon, wrote the announcement regarding the show's cancellation. Smith stated that despite looking into many potential pivots, it was ultimately deemed the right move to cancel BlizzCon 2020 entirely:
"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. We’ve also talked about different paths we could take, and how each one could be complicated by fluctuations in national and local health guidelines in the months ahead. Ultimately, after considering our options, we’ve come to the very difficult decision to not have BlizzCon this year."
This is not the first time Blizzard Entertainment's event plan has been hit by the COVID-19 outbreak. Blizzard has esports competitions running for its titles all around the world, but the Coronavirus put a heavy damper on the first globalized season of the Overwatch League.
Homestands were cancelled after only a month of the third OWL season, and while the league has now resumed online, the adjustments required to re-configure the league, which spanned four continents in its initial layout, were not without obstacles.
Smith also stated that Blizzard was looking for a way to pivot BlizzCon 2020, or at least, the spirit of the event, into an online-focused event. While no plans have been confirmed yet, Smith says that Blizzard will keep the community updated: "We’ll tell you more about our plans as they develop—but in the meantime, we hope to see you exploring the Shadowlands, hanging out in the Tavern, pushing the payload (do it!), and wherever else in the Blizzard universes you may roam."