Blizzard cancels BlizzCon 2021, is planning digital and physical event early next year
"We're now past the point where we'd be able to develop the kind of event we'd want to create".
Blizzard has officially cancelled its BlizzCon live event for the second year running, citing the "ongoing complexities and uncertainties of the pandemic".
Last year's real-world BlizzCon was cancelled due to coronavirus-related "health and safety considerations", and its long-awaited digital-only replacement - formally titled BlizzConline - eventually took place in February this year. Since then, it's been unclear if Blizzard was still planning to press ahead with a proper large-scale physical gathering in 2021, perhaps around the early November weekend usually reserved for its BlizzCon shows.
In a new post on the BlizzCon website, however, show executive producer Saralyn Smith has now confirmed the 2021 event will not be going ahead.
"As guidelines in California around in-person gatherings continue to evolve and the status of the pandemic fluctuates around the globe," Smith wrote, "the teams across Blizzard have been discussing what this means for one of the events we miss the most: BlizzCon."
"We know some of you might be wondering about your own plans to potentially cross the country - not to mention oceans - and meet your friends, family, and fellow community members in California," continued Smith, "so today, we wanted to give you a heads-up that we've decided we will not be holding BlizzCon this year."
"Building an in-person BlizzCon is an epic and complex affair that takes many months of preparation," Smith offered by way of explanation. "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."
Although this year's BlizzCon is officially no more, Smith says Blizzard's current plan is to once again hold an alternative event during the "early part of next year". Unlike February's digital-only BlizzConline, however, the goal for 2022 is to create a a global event that combines both an online show and smaller in-person gatherings. More details will be shared as plans solidify.