Blizzard warns that BlizzCon 2020 'might not be feasible' due to coronavirus

Blizzard warns that BlizzCon 2020 'might not be feasible' due to coronavirus

Blizzard warns that BlizzCon 2020 'might not be feasible' due to coronavirus

Plans are still moving forward, but Blizzard is preparing for the possibility that it won't happen as a physical event.

Fans have reached out to Blizzard asking about the future of BlizzCon in these uncertain times, according to Smith. Knowing that fans often plan their BlizzCon trips months or even a year in advance, the studio wanted to set expectations. BlizzCon 2020 is still on for now, but Blizzard and Smith are closely monitoring the situation and preparing for a possible cancellation.

Blizzard is still planning to hold its annual fan convention in Anaheim this November but warned today that the event could be canceled if the coronavirus pandemic evenis preventsstill preventing large gatherings at that time. Like the rest of us, they don't know how things are going to play out.
While we're all hoping things will look better later in the year, the bottom line is that at this point, it's too early to know whether BlizzCon 2020 will be feasible," BlizzCon executive producer Saralyn Smith wrote in an update. "‘The health of our community, employees, and everyone who helps with the show is our top consideration. It might be a few months before we know for certain if or how we'’ll proceed, but as soon as we have an important update, we'’ll share it.
Blizzard has only skipped two years since the first BlizzCon was held in 2005. Blizzard uses the show to announce what'’s next for games like World of Warcraft, Overwatch, and Diablo. It'’s a famous show, as well as a controversial one as of late: twoTwo years ago due to, the announcement of mobile-only Diablo: Immortal was announced, and last year withthere were rallies in support of the Hong Kong protests taking place outside of it.

Blizzard warns that BlizzCon 2020 'might not be feasible' due to coronavirus

Blizzard usually sells a Virtualvirtual Ticketticket alongside the BlizzCon attendee badge, which allows fans at home to witness the news and watch various panels. Two years ago, Blizzard digitally shared a brief beta period for World of Warcraft Classic — something usually reserved for BlizzCon attendees. While nothing is certain, it seems Blizzard could continue to share panels about development and demos for its games via the Virtual Ticket, should the event not happen.

That BlizzCon 2020 might be canceled isn'’t surprising. Since the coronavirus outbreak began spreading to Europe and North America earlier this year, gaming companies around the world have had to respond by canceling public events. Both the Game Developers Conference and E3 have been canceledcancelled along with a host of esports tournaments and smaller conventions. At the time of writing, there are an estimated 1.5 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide.

But, to be clear, BlizzCon 2020 isn'’t canceled for now. Blizzard is just preparing for the worst, and if the worst does happen, Smith said the company is looking at other alternatives. "“We do want to mention that before the recent events, we had been actively working to finalize our plans and are still doing so, despite the workplace changes we'’ve now made at Blizzard,"” Smith wrote. That includes considering a range of scenarios and possibilities, not just in terms of the show, but also regarding what the experience would be for you. We know BlizzCon also involves preparation on your part, so we'’ll do our best to provide as much clarity as we can, as quickly as we can.



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