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Blizzard cancels BlizzCon 2021

No in-person BlizzCon this year, 2022 global event planned

Artwork from BlizzCon 2019 Image: Blizzard Entertainment
Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

For the second year in a row, Blizzard Entertainment is throwing in the towel on an in-person BlizzCon, the company’s annual fan gathering. This year’s planned event has already been scrapped, Blizzard said in an announcement on Wednesday, citing “ongoing complexities and uncertainties of the pandemic.”

In place of BlizzCon 2021, Blizzard plans to hold a “global event” sometime in early 2022 that will include “smaller in-person gatherings.”

“Building an in-person BlizzCon is an epic and complex affair that takes many months of preparation—not just for us, but also for the many talented production partners, esports pros, hosts, entertainers, artists, and other collaborators we team up with locally and globally to put all of the pieces together,” Saralyn Smith, executive producer of BlizzCon, said on the event’s official website. “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.

“But we don’t want to let too long go by before we connect with everyone again. So in the meantime, we’re planning a global event for the early part of next year, combining an online show along the lines of our recent BlizzConline with smaller in-person gatherings, and we’ll share more as our plans come together.”

Blizzard canceled last year’s BlizzCon exactly one year ago today. The game developer and publisher held BlizzConline instead in February. The two-day online-only event featured many of the same types of game announcements, developer panels, and community-focused showcases seen at typical BlizzCon events.

BlizzCon is typically held in November at the Anaheim Convention Center near Blizzard’s headquarters in Irvine, California. The fan convention was first held in 2005.

Blizzard Entertainment’s currently announced game lineup includes Overwatch 2, Diablo 4, Diablo Immortal, and Diablo 2: Resurrected.

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