In brief: It seems like just about every major gaming conference scheduled for 2020 has been re-scheduled, shifted to an online format, or even canceled entirely due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. Unfortunately, another major event has fallen into that final category: BlizzCon 2020 has been officially shut down.
This news likely won’t be coming entirely out of left field for some of our more avid readers. As we reported last month, Blizzard has expressed uncertainty about BlizzCon’s viability in the current health climate. However, event organizers were hopeful that the severity of this virus (and present restrictions on large in-person gatherings) would decrease as the year continued.
Unfortunately, while the Covid-19 infection rate has slowed in many locations, this pandemic is far from over, and BlizzCon chief Saralyn Smith doesn’t see a path forward for the event this year. “We’re feeling deeply disappointed about this decision, and imagine many of you will feel the same,” Smith said in an official update. “…We will sorely miss connecting with so many of you at the convention and ‘recharging our geek batteries’ this fall.”
BlizzCon typically takes place in November, but that’s clearly not practical this time around. However, all is not lost. BlizzCon, like many other events of this nature, will likely be transformed and hosted online instead. The catch is, even if that happens, it will likely be “sometime early next year,” according to Smith.
So, in summary, it’s fair to say that BlizzCon 2020 as we know it is officially dead. We sympathize with anyone who has already set aside cash for hotels and plane tickets related to the event, but as Blizzard itself has realized, the risks of hosting a massive in-person gathering far outweigh the potential benefits for now.
Of course, BlizzCon’s cancellation does not necessarily mean we won’t get any news on Blizzard’s latest projects this year. The company will probably offer that information in the form of blog posts, teaser trailers, or developer Q&A sessions instead. That might be preferable for some fans, as even BlizzCon’s virtual tickets aren’t exactly cheap.