Activision Blizzard is at present going through critical ongoing allegations of harassment and mistreatment of marginalized employees. To be taught extra, please go to our timeline in addition to our in-depth report on the topic.
Blizzard has introduced that it is going to be canceling BlizzConline, initially deliberate for early subsequent 12 months, whereas making an effort to reimagine future BlizzCon occasions to be extra “protected, welcoming, and inclusive.”
In a weblog publish, the corporate mentioned the choice was fueled by a have to redirect the power Blizzard would usually spend placing on the occasion elsewhere, particularly towards “supporting our groups and progressing growth 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 atmosphere, 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 numerous reviews had been tales of inappropriate habits in and round in-person BlizzCon occasions through the years, together with the notorious “Cosby Suite” story that occurred at a resort throughout BlizzCon every year.
There was additionally a BlizzCon panel through which an all-male group of World of Warcraft builders dismissed a query about why so most of the recreation’s feminine characters regarded like Victoria’s Secret fashions.
Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Timeline: The Story So Far
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 12 months. With bodily occasions steadily returning, it isn’t but clear what the way forward for BlizzCon in-person occasions will seem 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 through which 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 like sooner or later, we additionally want to make sure that it feels as protected, welcoming, and inclusive as potential. We’re dedicated to continuous communication with our gamers, and we see BlizzCon enjoying a giant position 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. You could find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.