BlizzCon 2022 has been canceled.
The planned BlizzConline event previously scheduled for next year has been cut so that, "at this time", Blizzard can focus on "supporting our teams and progressing development of our games and experiences," the company said in a statement (opens in new tab) which tacitly acknowledges the ongoing Activision Blizzard lawsuit and investigations.
Despite this change, Blizzard says it will "still be making announcements and updates for our games" in the months ahead. It's also looking to "reimagine what a BlizzCon event of the future could look like," perhaps to build on the work that went into planning alternative online hybrid events rather than totally discarding the idea.
"Whatever the event looks like in the future, we also need to ensure that it feels as safe, welcoming, and inclusive as possible," the statement stressed.
Whatever form it takes, BlizzCon will still play "a big role" in Blizzard's communication going forward, the company says. Blizzard also affirmed that the BlizzCon planning team will support its upcoming slate of announcements.
When BlizzCon 2021 was canceled back in May 2020, Blizzard positioned BlizzConline as a digital alternative that would work around the "ongoing complexities and uncertainties" of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. This was no surprise given that physical events weren't in the cards for the entire industry, and the cancellation of BlizzConline 2022 is equally unsurprising given the complexities and uncertainties Blizzard is now grappling with.
That being said, while Blizzard's announcement has effectively canceled the event until further notice, there's just enough wiggle room in its timeline to suggest that BlizzCon could theoretically be resurrected later in 2022, either as a similar digital event or something else. We've reached out to Blizzard for clarification and will update our reporting if we hear back.
We know Blizzard has at least one unannounced game waiting in the wings, and it sounds a bit like Fallout.