BlizzConline 2022, which had been made to replace BlizzCon 2021, has been canceled. The event, a hybrid showcase that would combine features of online-only and in-person events, would have featured “smaller in-person gatherings.”
According to a post on Blizzard’s website not attributed to any author, the hybrid event was canceled because the company thought its energy would best be spent on other endeavors. “At this time,” reads the post, “we feel the energy it would take to put on a show like this is best directed towards supporting our teams and progressing [the] development of our games and experiences.” While it’s not clear how many games Blizzard currently has in development, the studio has been working on and constantly providing fans with updates about Overwatch 2.
However, the company is also dealing with other external issues at the moment that could have prompted this event’s cancelation. Blizzard’s parent company, Activision Blizzard, is currently embroiled in a lawsuit regarding its internal culture. The suit, filed by the State of California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, alleges that the company fostered a “frat boy” culture in which women were regularly harassed and pay discrimination based on gender and race was systemic, naming multiple executives at Blizzard. Blizzard president J. Allen Brack stepped down from his position amidst the lawsuit.
The publisher recently sought to have the lawsuit paused, claiming that there were ethics violations. However, a judge rejected that request.
Blizzard’s post announcing BlizzConline 2022’s cancelation also touched on the future of the event. While it’s not clear what format the event will take on, the company states, “Whatever the event looks like in the future, we also need to ensure that it feels as safe, welcoming, and inclusive as possible.”