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Blizzard cancels 2022 BlizzCon amid harrassment scandal fallout

Enlarge / A Warcraft-themed statue sits in front of the Blizzard employee campus. (credit: Flickr / gordontarpley)

Following an online-only BlizzCon earlier this year, Blizzard announced in May that its annual, announcement-packed convention for 2022 would be “combining an online show along the lines of our recent BlizzConline with smaller in-person gatherings.” Today, though, the company says it is “tak[ing] a step back and paus[ing] the planning” for that event.

In a post titled Reimagining BlizzCon, the company says that the all-hands-on-deck focus needed to pull off a show on the magnitude of BlizzCon just wasn’t the right fit for the company at this point:

Any BlizzCon event takes every single one of us to make happen, an entire-company effort, fueled by our desire to share what we create with the community we care about so much. At this time, we feel the energy it would take to put on a show like this is best directed towards supporting our teams and progressing development of our games and experiences.

Unaddressed in the announcement (but present as a heavy subtext throughout) are the multiple lawsuits Activision Blizzard is facing in the wake of a California investigation into allegations of widespread workplace harassment and sexual misconduct at the company going back years. That still-roiling scandal comes after a flurry of high-profile departures in recent years, including Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan in April.

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