The con circuit has always been a sort of expected course for games companies to run, like the Tour de France except with less bicycles and more people trying to get you good and hyped to spend money. One destination in that circuit is Gamescom, the largest gaming convention in Europe and easily one of the largest around the world. However, this staple of the con routine is rather surprisingly being dropped by Blizzard for perhaps depressingly unsurprising reasons: money.
Well, not money as outright stated in the announcement, but the PR version for money, which is “focus on development”:
As part of a renewed effort this year to maintain our focus on development, for our current games and our future projects, we won’t have a booth at Gamescom 2019. The show is an important one for the European and global gaming community, and we’re going to miss meeting players in Cologne this year.
Historically, Gamescom has been a stage for some of Blizzard’s big ticket reveals, including the announcement of World of Warcraft’s Legion expansion and the Overwatch animated short “Rise and Shine.” That history, however, looks to be changing in 2019 even though BlizzCon will still happen — a move that our own Eliot has argued against after the Great Diablo-shaped Bellyflop of 2018. Still, you’ll be able to buy Blizzard game merch at Gamescom. Yay, probably?