Following a hiatus since 2019, the renowned video game convention, BlizzCon, will be making its much-anticipated in-person return later this year. Blizzard Entertainment has finally spilled the beans on the upcoming convention’s date and location, providing relief to the eagerly waiting gaming community. This news has been eagerly awaited since Blizzard broke the ice that 2023’s BlizzCon would be a physical event.
Mike Ybarra, the President of Blizzard Entertainment, had hinted at BlizzCon’s comeback as an in-person event in a late-year update last year, without delving into specifics. This revelation had followed hot on the heels of the release of World of Warcraft: Dragonflight, the ninth instalment of Blizzard’s seminal MMORPG series. In light of the recent allegations regarding a toxic work environment at Blizzard, the return of BlizzCon could signify a watershed moment for the beleaguered company.
BlizzCon 2023: Event Details and What to Expect
As per the latest blog entry from Blizzard, BlizzCon 2023 is scheduled to take place from Friday, November 3, through to Saturday, November 4. The Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California, will be playing host to the event. Fans will be able to tune in to the keynote and several panels free of charge via Blizzard’s Twitch and YouTube channels, with ticketing details set to follow later. The venue and dates align with the traditional BlizzCon timetable pre-COVID, which led to the cancellation of the event in 2020. Blizzard had pivoted to a virtual edition of BlizzCon in 2021, which was generally considered a success given the constraints of the pandemic.
The 2021 edition of BlizzCon, featuring the unveiling of Diablo 2: Resurrected, was succeeded by plans for a subsequent digital-only convention in 2022. However, the eruption of allegations against the company brought these plans to a halt. Amidst the ensuing lawsuits and escalating negative attention, Blizzard decided to refrain from organising any conventions. Since these incidents, there has been a changing of the guard at Blizzard, and a number of staff members have opted to part ways with the company. Nonetheless, despite the recent challenges faced by Activision Blizzard in the UK, Microsoft’s acquisition endeavours persist, leaving questions about the implications for this year’s BlizzCon.
In terms of what’s in store at BlizzCon this year, Blizzard certainly has a plethora of content up its sleeve. With the withdrawal of Overwatch 2’s PvE mode, fans could expect the showcase of a fresh Hero, or maybe two. Additionally, as World of Warcraft will be celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2024, there might be a preview of the commemorative plans in order. All in all, avid followers of Blizzard have much to look forward to in the near future.