Today, BlizzCon 2020 is confirmed to be cancelled due to COVID-19, making it the first time the gathering has been cancelled since 2013. Blizzard is now considering hosting the event remotely early next year. The company will use the coming months to work towards this event.
“We love BlizzCon, and we know many of you share that feeling and look forward to it as an opportunity to get away for a while, meet up with friends, and have a good time. As so many of us have been isolated for multiple weeks now, surrounded and in some cases directly impacted by the ongoing pandemic-related challenges around the world, we’re looking forward to the time when we can see one another again in person and have something to celebrate together.”
BlizzCon is not the first video game convention that has been cancelled this year because of the pandemic. QuakeCon, Gamescom, and the largest annual gaming event, E3, were also cancelled.
However, gamers can still look forward to the Summer Games Fest, an unofficial E3 replacement for the time being.
Regarding the virtual event, BlizzCon executive prodycer Saralyn Smith said, “We’re talking about how we might be able to channel the BlizzCon spirit and connect with you in some way online.”
BlizzCon is an extremely significant event for Blizzard, as they use it as a platform to make big announcements for all of their franchises. In BlizzCon 2019, Blizzard revealed Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4. Nonetheless it was highly anticipated that updates would be revealed for these games in 2020.
“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.”
The Overwatch League or OWL is another Blizzard event that is now moved to remote operation. Last year, the Overwatch Grand finals averaged at 1.12 million viewers.