BlizzCon to return in 2023

BlizzCon will return next year, Blizzard president Mike Ybarra confirmed in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.

“We previously announced we’re taking a pause on BlizzCon while we reimagine it for the future but do want to return to a live event that enables us to celebrate the community,” Ybarra told the Times.

“We recently hired a new leader of BlizzCon, April McKee, who is hard at work on that plan… We are committed to bringing back BlizzCon in 2023.”

BlizzCon has not happened as an in-person event since 2019.

It was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, with a replacement online-only event dubbed BlizzConline taking place in February of 2021.

This year’s BlizzCon and BlizzConline were both cancelled last October.

At the time, Blizzard said it was because it wanted to devote its energy to “supporting our teams and progressing development of our games and experiences,” without referencing the pandemic or the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing lawsuit that had been filed a few months prior alleging a host of gender discrimination and workplace culture problems at the company.

That lawsuit and the company’s culture issues were a focus of the Los Angeles Times interview, with Ybarra saying, “No doubt this has impacted people. It has impacted morale.”

Ybarra also addressed criticism over the monetization of the recently released Diablo Immortal, saying, “When we think about monetization, at the very highest level it was, ‘How do we give a free Diablo experience to hundreds of millions of people, where they can literally do 99.5% of everything in the game?”

He added, “The monetization comes in at the end game. The philosophy was always to lead with great gameplay and make sure that hundreds of millions of people can go through the whole campaign without any costs.”

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