BlizzCon 2022, which was planned for February in a digital format called BlizzConline, has been cancelled, according to an announcement Tuesday from Blizzard Entertainment. There is no date for a rescheduling, but the developer intends to “reinvent” BlizzCon during this time.
The statement reads, in part:
Any BlizzCon event takes every single one of us to make happen, an entire-company effort, fueled by our desire to share what we create with the community we care about so much. At this time, we feel the energy it would take to put on a show like this is best directed towards supporting our teams and progressing development of our games and experiences.
Additionally, we would also like to take the time to reimagine what a BlizzCon event of the future could look like. The first BlizzCon was held 16 years ago, and so much has changed in the time since—most notably, the multiple ways in which players and communities can come together and feel like they are a part of something bigger. Whatever the event looks like in the future, we also need to ensure that it feels as safe, welcoming, and inclusive as possible. We’re committed to continual communication with our players, and we see BlizzCon playing a big role in that going forward. We’re excited about what we’ll do with the event when we revisit it in the future.
While BlizzCon won’t be hosted in February, Blizzard make announcements for its games. Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2 are still in development, and neither game currently has a release date. Blizzard also maintains live service games like World of Warcraft, and we’ll likely hear more about updates like Patch 9.2 in the current Shadowlands expansion.
Activision Blizzard faces wide-ranging allegations that it maintains a toxic workplace environment that’s particularly hostile to women. California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) investigated the company for two years before filing the lawsuit, and found that women are paid less and subject to sexual harassment, without meaningful punishment applied to perpetrators. In the period since the lawsuit was filed in late July, the DFEH has expanded its complaint to include allegations that Activision Blizzard “suppressed” evidence in its investigation. The company denies that claim. Activision Blizzard is currently facing multiple lawsuits and a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation. One of its lawsuits, filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, was settled for $18 million earlier this year.
More than 40 Activision Blizzard employees have been disciplined in the months following the initial lawsuit. Also in its wake, Blizzard made good on its promise to rename the Overwatch character formerly known as McCree: He’s now Cole Cassidy.
Workers at the company, too, continue to speak out on social media and elsewhere to encourage substantial change. You can read more about the allegations against Activision Blizzard in Polygon’s explainer.