Blizzard’s annual BlizzCon event, showcasing their illustrious catalog of games and upcoming additions of such, has officially joined the ranks of cancelled and delayed victims of Covid-19. While officially cancelled back in May of 2020, during the latest Activision Blizzard conference call it was suggested that an all virtual BlizzCon in early 2021 would be the best alternative to satiate the calls for “blood and thunder” loyal fans crave.
Blizzard has been supporting virtual attendance to BlizzCon since 2010, with virtual attendees having access to watch the panels, cosplay competitions, and even access to certain BlizzCon-exclusive swag and digital goodies. However, it has to be wondered how well a totally virtual translation will come across. As few details have been offered apart from the possibility of going virtual, it is unknown if presenters, cosplayers, and esport competitors will still attend for the purpose of streamed content, or if we will instead see mismatched Zoom meetings and Twitch streams. Certainly it is possible to stream esports events as the games are digital already, but what sort of a morale impact will it have on the competitors if they do not have the excitement and intensity of the fans and crowds around them?
Finally, BlizzCon attendees have traditionally looked forward to hands-on playtime with new and classic Blizzard franchises, as well as early access to just announced goodness. BlizzCon 2019 tested out offering virtual ticket holders access to some of these exclusives, such as early access to Warcraft III Reforged. Hopefully this will prompt Blizzard to allow the same sort of access for the forthcoming virtual offering.
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