Activision Blizzard is at the moment dealing with critical ongoing allegations of harassment and mistreatment of marginalized employees. To study extra, please go to our timeline in addition to our in-depth report on the topic.
Blizzard has introduced that it will likely be canceling BlizzConline, initially deliberate for early subsequent yr, whereas making an effort to reimagine future BlizzCon occasions to be extra “secure, welcoming, and inclusive.”
In a weblog publish, the corporate stated the choice was fueled by a must redirect the vitality Blizzard would usually spend placing on the occasion elsewhere, particularly towards “supporting our groups and progressing improvement of our video games and experiences.”
Blizzard nonetheless plans to make some bulletins for its portfolio of video games in February across the time the occasion would have been held, it simply will not be within the occasion format utilized in previous years.
Although not explicitly specified by the weblog publish, this announcement comes inside the context of an ongoing lawsuit filed in early August by the state of California, accusing Activision Blizzard of fostering a “frat boy” tradition together with sexual harassment, a poisonous work setting, and unequal pay between women and men.
Among the many accounts detailed in each the lawsuit and in subsequent tales shared from former staff in varied experiences have been tales of inappropriate habits in and round in-person BlizzCon occasions over time, together with the notorious “Cosby Suite” story that came about at a resort throughout BlizzCon every year.
There was additionally a BlizzCon panel wherein an all-male group of World of Warcraft builders dismissed a query about why so lots of the recreation’s feminine characters seemed like Victoria’s Secret fashions.
BlizzCon moved to an online-only format for its final incarnation because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and an identical online-only format had been deliberate for this coming yr. With bodily occasions steadily returning, it isn’t but clear what the way forward for BlizzCon in-person occasions will appear like.
“The primary BlizzCon was held 16 years in the past, and a lot has modified within the time since—most notably, the a number of methods wherein gamers and communities can come collectively and really feel like they’re part of one thing greater,” reads Blizzard’s publish.
“Regardless of the occasion seems to be like sooner or later, we additionally want to make sure that it feels as secure, welcoming, and inclusive as potential. We’re dedicated to continuous communication with our gamers, and we see BlizzCon taking part in an enormous function in that going ahead. We’re enthusiastic about what we’ll do with the occasion once we revisit it sooner or later.”
Rebekah Valentine is a information reporter for IGN. Yow will discover her on Twitter @duckvalentine.