In May, Blizzard was forced to pull the plug on BlizzCon 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But, like many other companies that were forced to scrap their big festivals, it said that it hoped to put together an online substitute instead, expected to take place sometime in 2021. During Activision's second-quarter earnings call today, Blizzard president J. Allen Brack confirmed that the plan is still going ahead.
"We are planning on channeling the spirit of BlizzCon into a virtual event in the early part of next year," Brack said during the call's Q&A session. "We're really fortunate to have a passionate and engaged community that's really looking forward to what we're creating and what we're working on. And we're looking forward to sharing what the teams have been working on for that event."
Blizzard should be in a good position to hold a successful online event: It normally offers a "virtual ticket" for those who can't attend BlizzCon in person anyway, providing livestreamed access to panels, the cosplay contest, and esports competitions, and the opening ceremonies are also streamed free for everyone.
Unfortunately, Brack didn't say anything more about what those things he's looking forward to sharing might be, but he did tease that Blizzard has "a number of initiatives that are underway" beyond the "tentpole sequels" of Diablo, Overwatch, and World of Warcraft—something to look forward to as we roll toward 2021.
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Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.