BlizzConline 2022: Blizzard cancels in-house exhibition for pause for thought

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BlizzConline 2022: Blizzard cancels in-house exhibition for pause for thought

Image: Blizzard

Blizzard cancels the upcoming BlizzCon, which should have been held online in February 2022. In the meantime, the publisher’s in-house exhibition will be “creatively reinterpreted,” explained the company. Persistently negative headlines will also have played a role.

In parts, Blizzard echoes such considerations. A BlizzCon event requires the participation of every single employee. This energy is currently better invested in the development of “games and experiences”. Basically, Blizzard wants to show little nakedness and avoid the points of attack that such a widely visible event provides. There will still be news about games, but they will be communicated via the channels of the respective brand, i.e. individually and not bundled. This also suggests that Blizzard wants to keep its head down.

There are certainly reasons for a tense mood. From Warcraft 3: Reforged (test) to server problems with Diablo 2 Resurrected (test) or changes to the subscription model of World of Warcraft, the news about the studio has been mostly negative recently. A corresponding mood of the fans would also be reflected around a BlizzCon, especially if the studio could not present any exciting news during the event. Either way: The advance praise seems to have been used up.

New thinking – after scandal

At the same time, Blizzard also wants to rethink the trade fair. The first BlizzCon took place 16 years ago, and a lot has changed in the meantime. In particular, this concerns the way of getting together. It should be as “safe, friendly and as inclusive as possible”.

In these explanations, too, there are logical connections with the most recent events. The final cancellation of BlizzCon 2021, which was converted to an online event and then postponed, reflects that the biggest news about Blizzard in recent times has been corporate culture and a lawsuit over sexism.

In particular, the lawsuit continues to shape a good part of the reporting, most recently through Blizzard’s attempt to exceed this with a legal trick cheap to end – Indeed unsuccessful. This makes for positive headlines, as well as the reports on the effects of the revelations: From management departures to name changes in World of Warcraft and Overwatch, the lawsuit is the number one Blizzard topic.

But that’s not all: The company’s last pre-Covid event was the “don’t you have smartphones” BlizzCon on Diablo: Immortal. The completely unrealistic assessment, the tactless treatment of the company’s biggest fans – those who buy expensive BlizzCon tickets, i.e. access to a promotional event – also testify to the fact that the BlizzCon concept needs a creative break for the time being. In this situation, silence is more useful than potentially adding fuel to the fire.

The editors would like to thank the ComputerBase reader “Syrato” for pointing this out!

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