Blizzard Cancels BlizzCon 2024

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Key Takeaways

  • Blizzard has cancelled BlizzCon 2024.
  • The game developer didn't explain the decision,
  • It's still hoping to hold BlizzCon in the future.

Blizzard Entertainment has joined the trend away from major gaming events by cancelling BlizzCon 2024.

The Activision Blizzard developer didn’t explain just why it cancelled BlizzCon, but said it made the decision after “careful consideration” in the space of a year. The company said it was still “as excited as ever” to revive BlizzCon in the years ahead.

For 2024, Blizzard said it would instead share “exciting plans” for Gamescom (slated for August) and other game industry shows. There would also be “multiple” in-person and in-game events to mark the 30th anniversary of Warcraft.  These will ideally preserve the “essence” of the Blizzard community, the firm said.

BlizzCon 2024 would have been the first such event to be held after Microsoft completed its purchase of Activision Blizzard.  It would have also represented just the second in-person expo since the company cancelled its physical events in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

There may not have been much to show, however. Overwatch 2 and Diablo IV were released comparatively recently, in 2022 and 2023 respectively. There might not be a blockbuster title to serve as an anchor for BlizzCon 2024. Microsoft also laid off 1,900 gaming employees after completing the Activision Blizzard deal, and an as yet unnamed survival game was cancelled soon afterward. The Overwatch 2 story mode was also cut in 2023.

The remaining known projects are expansions, including the Diablo IV add-on Vessel of Hatred and World of Warcraft follow-up The War Within.

The cancellation isn’t the first for a tentpole gaming event. The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) scrapped E3, the industry’s largest show, after dealing with multiple exits from major partners (such as EA and Sony) and the impact of the pandemic. Publishers have less incentive to attend events like E3 as they can host separate presentations (often virtual, such as PlayStation State of Play or Nintendo Direct) to unveil games on their own terms.

BlizzCon is a fan-oriented expo for a single developer, however, and is theoretically less prone to cancellations. Whatever the reasoning, the move could prove disappointing to enthusiasts who use the convention to see friends and influencers.