2022 has been a fruitful year for entertainment company Blizzard. Although it didn’t start out great, the company underwent a lot of changes following the sexual harassment allegations it faced in 2021. BlizzCon 2022 (Blizzconline) was also announced and then officially unannounced at the start of this year. Then Microsoft announced its intention to acquire Blizzard, and the deal is supposed to be closing June 2023. The company has seen so many changes from inside and from the players base, it’s left many wondering about the future of the company and whether we’ll see a BlizzCon 2023.
In terms of player numbers, Blizzard saw 50 million new players in 2022, so clearly the company is bouncing back. While this may be in part due to the new president and new roles at the company which seem to be taking it in a new direction, the release of Overwatch 2 also helped bring back many. The new president of Blizzard Entertainment, Mike Ybarra, confirmed all of this along with the return of BlizzCon in his End of Year Blizzard update. Although information on the exact date and whether the event will be online or held in a physical location have yet to be confirmed. Although we have been promised more details on it early next year, so check back for any further details.
The end of year update also goes into more details regarding the internal changes that have been made to improve the culture within the Blizzard offices. This comes after the lawsuit and workplace allegations which led to the previous president of the company stepping down, as well as many others within the company. New roles include a “VP of Culture” a role that involves creating a more diverse and equal workplace, but Ybarra also focuses on the commitment to improve the diversity within the company.
“Over the past year, we increased the percentage representation of women and non-binary people within Blizzard from 22% to 25% while also increasing the percentage of employees from under-represented ethnic groups from 34% to 36%.”Mike Ybarra, Blizzard Entertainment December 22, 2022
While these changes are great steps towards progress, there will need to be a lot more done in order to win back public favour. 2021 was tumultuous for Blizzard so it’s no wonder the company was quiet for the first part of 2022 as there was a mass exodus of Blizzard employees. But Ybarra seems positive about the changes made and Microsoft is in the middle of its acquisition, so the future does seem brighter for the company, its employees and fans of Blizzard so it makes sense to announce the return of BlizzCon.
With a new president and new roles focussing on diversity, it seems those working at Blizzard are looking to the future and acknowledging that it takes effort to create a non-toxic environment. BlizzCon 2023 is an opportunity for the higher ups at the company to show how things have really progressed and how they will continue to do so in the coming years.