Blizzard announced on their website that they would not be attending this year’s Gamescom to maintain their focus on development for current and future games.
For those unfamiliar with Gamescon, it’s essentially a trade fair for the gaming industry.Video game developers exhibit new games and hardware. It’s a great platform for indie game developers who also want to showcase their games to the world. Gamescon is held at the “Koelnmesse” which is in Cologne, Germany. This year the event will be held from August 20th to August 24th.
Prior to Gamescom, companies make announcements on whether or not they will be attending Gamescom. This year, Blizzard announced on their website that they would not be attending Gamescom. Since Blizzard will not be in attendance at Gamescom 2019, they will be selling Blizzard gear in the Gamescom 2019 shop area. Additionally, we know that they are not attending “[a]s part of a renewed effort this year to maintain our focus on development, for our current games and our future projects”. (Source: here)
Although this may be a surprise to some fans, it’s not terribly unexpected. As pointed out in the OverWatch Reddit community by user Utigarde:
“This isn’t all that unexpected. One of the big reasons they actually went to Gamescom before was patch announcements for WoW. They now have a system that doesn’t require big events to announce them, just [live streams]. Most of Blizzard’s other stuff, Overwatch especially, don’t need a Gamescom stage to announce.” (Source: here)
If you are a big Blizzard fan and are sad to hear this news, don’t worry. On April 25th, Blizzard announced on their site the dates they will be selling tickets for Blizzcon. If you are unfamiliar with Blizzcon, it is a convention for all things Blizzard.
Although Blizzcon will be held from November 1st to the 2nd, fans where both saddened and upset by the news of the Gamescon absence. One Reddit user, u/spookymarquez said “I’m not gonna lie, but after Blizzcon 2018 this is pretty sobering. I don’t feel entitled to new content or anything but not having a platform like this to even just announce a new map and cinematic takes a little hype out of the experience. I DO hope this means more focus on Blizzcon and what will be announced there, hopefully, given saving the time and resources from not going to Gamescom. I have to say it’s kinda difficult to get hopes up, however.”
Another user said “I was at last’s year Gamescom and even got to play OW on stage, it was so much fun. You definitely feel their presence there. If they won’t appear, I’m worried they don’t have anything coming up.”, u/DoubleR103.
A lot of users on Reddit are also speculating that this is Blizzard’s attempt to make their convention perfect after last year’s announcement of Diablo Immortal. Here’s the video of the announcement at Blizzcon 2018 with the chat reaction:
What does this mean for Overwatch fans?
Since the release of the Overwatch Workshop, the Overwatch sub-reddit has been ablaze with ideas from players. Like the idea of a daily quest system or a custom map maker similar to other well know games like Super Mario Maker. It’s possible that Overwatch team over at Blizzard HQ could be taking this time to test out the implementation of some these ideas. There is also the possibility that some of the amazing game modes made by fans on the Workshop are being integrated into the base game by the team. Some popular game modes made in the Workshop that we could see an implementation of the following:
- Dotawatch, a FPS-MOBA in Overwatch. Link to a video of the game mode in action here.
- Mirror teleportation deathmatch mode. Link to a video of the game mode in action here.
Even though Blizzard will not be attending Gamescom this year, there is a good possibility we will still see some great and exclusive stuff from Blizzcon later this year.