Blizzard Planning ‘Big Announcements’ for BlizzCon 2019 After Last Year’s Backlash
There’s no denying that Blizzard is in hot water right now. The company’s decision to ban a professional Hearthstone player after speaking out against China and in favor of the liberation of Hong Kong has been met with widespread outrage, including a campaign to boycott Blizzard. Blizzard has attempted to appease angry fans by rescinding some of the punishments it doled out to the shoutcasters and pro Hearthstone player involved in the controversy. But Blizzard also has fans it upset last year that it needs to make amends with, which is partly why it has major announcements in store for BlizzCon 2019.
According to Kotaku’s Jason Schreier, Blizzard is making big announcement at this year’s BlizzCon “in part to make up for the PR blowup of last year.” While the current situation with Hong Kong is stealing all the headlines, some fans may recall that Blizzard found itself the center of controversy around this time last year as well, after a poorly-received BlizzCon 2018 event. The biggest backlash came with the announcement of Diablo Immortal, a mobile spinoff game, instead of the reveal of a proper Diablo 4.
Blizzard’s big announcements this year are an attempt to patch things up with disgruntled fans who were annoyed at last year’s BlizzCon event. However, they may do little to appease those who are still upset about the ongoing Blizzard Hong Kong controversy.
Incidentally, Blizzard is planning on a lot of big announcements for this year’s BlizzCon (November 1) in part to make up for the PR blowup of last year. This new debacle will no doubt overshadow that
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) October 9, 2019
As to what Blizzard may have in store for BlizzCon 2019, there are two announcements that seem very likely. One is the reveal of Diablo 4, as reports indicated that a Diablo 4 announcement was actually planned for last year before it got pulled (though Blizzard has pushed back against those claims). A Diablo 4 announcement also makes sense because it would go a long way in reaching out to fans who felt alienated by the Diablo Immortal announcement.
Another announcement that is likely to happen is the Overwatch 2 reveal. Schreier is the one who leaked Overwatch 2, with the game supposedly having a focus on PvE versus the PvP found in the original game. Some at Blizzard have compared Overwatch 2 to games like Left 4 Dead, which should be an interesting combination, to say the least.
Blizzard may have even more surprises up its sleeve come BlizzCon 2019 on November 1, and it may have even added some extra ones to try to shake off the ongoing Hong Kong controversy. Whether or not it succeeds remains to be seen, but we’ll find out in a few weeks.