Blizzard Cancels BlizzCon 2021 in Favor of Digital Event

The company still isn't ready for a big get together this year.

Blizzard announced that BlizzCon is canceled until further notice. Saralyn Smith, executive producer of BlizzCon, took to the event’s website to address the Blizzard community in a heartfelt statement that addressed their concerns and reasons for not holding BlizzCon in person this upcoming November. BlizzCon typically takes place in Anaheim, California, and due to much of the fluctuating numbers of COVID and California state guidelines, the company decided to yet again not hold it this year. I am sad to hear that BlizzCon won’t be happening in person this year. I’m an avid fan of Overwatch and in my younger days couldn’t be torn away from World of Warcraft so to see that collectively players can’t come out to show their skills yet again is heartbreaking. After 

Smith adds, “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.” 

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This event brings in attendees from all around the globe and, of course, we are all in a global pandemic, so this decision from Blizzard is understandable. I mean, to produce and host guests from all over the world is a minefield for covid contamination, and could lead to a spike of cases. No company wants to be responsible for that. 

As attendees, it’s easy to lose sight of what goes into these conventions beyond the finished product, often never realizing what goes into birthing an event of this size. Planning and prepping for BlizzCon starts way in advance and takes months to create and involves a crew of, as Smith says in the statement, — “production partners, esports pros, hosts, entertainers, artists, and other collaborators we team up with locally and globally to put all of the pieces together.”

Smith ended the blog post stating the BlizzCon team is hoping to hold an event early next year which resembles BlizzConline. The event would be a crosshair of fans and community members overseas to be able to attend an online show from the comforts of their own home, as well as simultaneously having smaller in-person gatherings. Blizzard will release more news pertaining to this in the future as plans on their end become more concrete.

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Je'nae Singh

Hello to all queens, kings, and non-binary royalty! My name is Jae and I am the Editorial Intern at Fanbyte for the summer. I am a connoisseur of all things horror and games. I've been playing games since a wee toddler and my first real game was Silent Hill: Shattered Memories. I love connecting with folx from different backgrounds and navigating conversations around intersectionality and gaming. Hope you enjoy what I create!

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