Blizzard halted plans for BlizzCon in 2021 because of the Covid-19 pandemic (opens in new tab), and then later in the year hit “pause (opens in new tab)” on plans for a substitute online event because of widespread allegations of discrimination and sexual harassment (opens in new tab) at Activision Blizzard. The allegations were still relatively new and developing at that point, and Blizzard said “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.”
That pause will continue through 2022, but Blizzard president Mike Ybarra said in a new interview with the Los Angeles Times (opens in new tab) that he aims to bring BlizzCon back in 2023.
“We previously announced we’re taking a pause on BlizzCon while we reimagine it for the future but do want to return to a live event that enables us to celebrate the community,” Ybarra said. “We recently hired a new leader of BlizzCon, April McKee, who is hard at work on that plan. … We are committed to bringing back BlizzCon in 2023.”
BlizzCon was for years a fairly well-established routine of big announcements, developer panels, esports competitions, and a cosplay contest, but it’s possible that it could be significantly changed when it comes back. When Blizzard cancelled the live event for 2021, for instance, it mused about blending a major online event with “smaller in-person gatherings.” Some of those ideas could carry over into 2023, especially if the pandemic is still wreaking havoc. And given the timing of previous BlizzCon events, which since 2010 have been held in the fall, there’s plenty of time for Blizzard to come up with some new and interesting ideas.