Blizzard plans to bring back BlizzCon, its formerly-annual fan convention, in 2023, according to a new interview with Blizzard president Mike Ybarra.
“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 tells the Los Angeles Times (opens in new tab). “We recently hired a new leader of BlizzCon, April McKee, who is hard at work on that plan.”
Ybarra concludes by saying that “we are committed to bringing back BlizzCon in 2023.”
While Ybarra does not specifically name McKee’s credentials in the interview, this is likely the same April McKee (opens in new tab) who has recently served as the director of “Xbox Experiential Marketing Communications” – in other words, she manages events like Xbox’s annual E3 showcase. Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard is underway, but still subject to regulatory approvals – including a newly announced investigation by the United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority.
BlizzCon 2022 was scheduled to take place as an online event, though the show was canceled in the wake of the sexual discrimination lawsuit against Activision Blizzard.
Ybarra addresses some of the company’s efforts to change its culture in the interview, saying that his role is as a “stabilizer” for Blizzard – “It’s really about me getting out of the way and making sure culture here is cultivating in the way we want it and people feel like they belong.”
Ybarra also defends Diablo Immortal’s controversial microtransactions, saying the devs aimed to “make sure that hundreds of millions of people can go through the whole campaign without any costs.”