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BlizzCon canceled for 2020, online event planned for early next year

Blizzard Entertainment makes it official

Image: Blizzard | Illustration by James Bareham/Polygon
Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Blizzard Entertainment won’t hold its annual BlizzCon convention this year, BlizzCon executive producer Saralyn Smith confirmed on Tuesday, citing health and logistical concerns with holding the mass gathering. But Blizzard is considering an online event that “channel[s] the BlizzCon spirit” for early 2021.

On the BlizzCon website, Smith said “after considering our options, we’ve come to the very difficult decision to not have BlizzCon this year.” Smith said that last April, amid multiple event cancellations over concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic, it was “too early to know whether BlizzCon 2020 will be feasible.”

Blizzard fans hoping for updates from the company and the sense of camaraderie that comes from BlizzCon may have something to look forward to in 2021.

“We’re talking about how we might be able to channel the BlizzCon spirit and connect with you in some way online, far less impacted by the state of health and safety protocols for mass in-person gatherings,” Smith said. “We’d want to do this as soon as we could, but given that this is new-ish territory and the different factors involved, it will most likely be sometime early next year. 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.”

Blizzard’s currently announced lineup includes Overwatch 2, Diablo 4, Diablo: Immortal, and World of Warcraft: Shadowlands.