Well, today’s Blizzard news isn’t going to surprise anyone: The company has canceled its upcoming BlizzConline event.
The online event was originally set for early 2022, as pandemic uncertainties made it impossible to plan for an in-person BlizzCon this fall. That was a repeat of the situation in 2020, for essentially the same reasons.
But of course, the Blizzard that announced BlizzConline 2022 back in May hadn’t yet been slammed with a state lawsuit that laid bare years of sexual discrimination and harassment abuses. Since that time, the company has fired and disciplined dozens of employees and come under fire for ignoring workers demands as harassment stories flooded the internet. Company president J. Allen Brack was toppled and replaced with a pair of Activision executives. The current atmosphere surrounding Blizzard and Activision-Blizzard on the whole is grim.
“Any BlizzCon event takes every single one of us to make happen, an entire-company effort, fueled by our desire to share what we create with the community we care about so much,” the studio says today in its blog post canceling the event. “At this time, we feel the energy it would take to put on a show like this is best directed towards supporting our teams and progressing development of our games and experiences.”
The company further notes that it plans to “take the time to reimagine what a BlizzCon event of the future could look like” and “ensure that it feels as safe, welcoming, and inclusive as possible,” which has certainly not always been the case in the past.
Finally, the studio clarifies that even without a BlizzCon, game announcements are still on deck.
“[E]ven though we aren’t holding BlizzConline in February, we’ll still be making announcements and updates for our games. We’re proud of our teams and the progress they’ve made across our games. We have a lot of exciting upcoming news and releases to share with you. You’ll continue hearing about those through our franchise channels, with the talented people on the BlizzCon team playing a part in supporting these efforts.”
Activision-Blizzard’s 2021 third quarter financial report and investor call are slated for next week on November 2nd.