What just happened? We've seen numerous tech and gaming conventions get cancelled or drastically altered due to the Covid-19 outbreak, but there are still a few that have been left intact. BlizzCon 2020, for example, hasn't shown any signs of an impending shutdown -- until today. In a freshly-published blog post, Blizzard exec Saralyn Smith warns fans that BlizzCon 2020 might not be feasible due to Covid-19.
Addressing the Blizzard community at large, Smith assures players that nothing is final, but due to the unpredictable nature of Covid-19 and its rapid spread, Blizzard may be forced to shift gears with its highly-anticipated annual event.
"We love BlizzCon, and we know many of you share that feeling and look forward to it as an opportunity to get away for a while, meet up with friends, and have a good time," Smith writes. "...While we're all hopeful 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."
Smith says the health and safety of Blizzard's many customers and staff members will take precedent over BlizzCon itself. However, her statement is carefully worded, and she makes it clear that this is not a cancellation announcement -- indeed, preparations for BlizzCon 2020 are still continuing as planned, though likely at a slower pace due to the new work-from-home policies Blizzard has adopted.
Furthermore, even if a traditional BlizzCon proves to be impossible this year, Blizzard is considering a "range of scenarios and possibilities" to preserve the spirit of the event. That could mean an online-only event, similar to what we've seen from other gaming giants.
Either way, with or without BlizzCon, we expect to see plenty of exciting announcements from Blizzard this year. Both Diablo 4 and World of Warcraft: Shadowlands could get release dates (or additional info and gameplay dumps, at least) and the company might have a few surprises up its sleeve as well. Only time will tell.