Blizzard has announced that it will not be hosting a BlizzCon this year in light of other events, namely the 2012 Battle.net World Championship and the release of Diablo III, World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, and StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm.
The full press release reads:
Blizzard Entertainment is proud to announce the 2012 Battle.net World Championship, a major global eSports event featuring some of the best pro-gaming competition in the world. Slated to take place in Asia toward the end of 2012, the Battle.net World Championship will host this year’s StarCraft II and World of Warcraft Arena World Championship tournaments. Blizzard gamers and eSports fans from around the world will be invited to attend and witness some of the most skilled pro players on the planet battle it out for cash and glory.
We’re excited to be showcasing Blizzard eSports on a truly global stage this year. We’re also heavily focused on getting Diablo III, Mists of Pandaria, and Heart of the Swarm into players’ hands as soon as possible. In light of our jam-packed schedule, we’ve decided to hold the next BlizzCon in 2013.
More details about the 2012 Battle.net World Championship and BlizzCon 2013, including specific dates and locations, will be coming in the months ahead.
Diablo III is the third installment in the Diablo franchise and was first announced in 2008. It is slated for release early this year.
Mists of Pandaria is the fourth expansion for World of Warcraft. It was announced at BlizzCon 2011 last October. The expansion will raise the level cap, add a new class and race, a pet battle system, and new player versus event scenarios.
Heart of the Swarm is a sequel and expansion pack of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, which will include additional units and a Zerg campaign. It was first announced in 2007.
Anaylsis: BlizzCon is a gigantic PR event, just like any other con like this. If there’s really nothing to announce, it can be argued that there isn’t a point. At the same time, even with nothing huge to announce, the con would be a great opportunity to build excitement. Unless they plan on releasing Diablo III, Mists of Pandaria, and Heart of the Swarm before October and aren’t going to be able to come up with any ideas before the con, I don’t know that this is a great idea. As of right now, there’s no release date for any of them, though Diablo III is supposed to come out sometime early this year after being pushed back. It just seems odd to me that they’d give up a successful marketing tool in order to focus on releasing games, especially given how long people have waited so far. I almost want to ask, “What were they doing these past few years, then?”
Then again, if they really aren’t going to be able to show off anything, maybe it makes sense that they’re choosing the World Championship over BlizzCon. BlizzCon makes them quite a bit of money at nearly $200 a ticket. Those who can’t travel to California will often buy virtual tickets, like our own Joshua Moore did last year, or watch the con on a pay-per-view channel. But if there’s nothing to announce, people are going to be pissed that Blizzard wasted their time and money. And even though not everyone is super competitive about their StarCraft or their World of Warcraft and thus wouldn’t have any interest in a tournament, hosting one of these wouldn’t require Blizzard to announce any new expansions or titles.