The COVID-19 pandemic has had a palpable effect on nearly every facet of life worldwide, but the United States is among the countries that has felt it the greatest. As the daily toll of new cases continues to break records, it seems as if the end is far out of sight.
Those in the gaming community have been heavily affected by this pandemic, especially on the production end, where companies continue to be forced to work remotely to remain safe and practice social distancing.
One of the many events canceled as a result of this pandemic was BlizzCon 2020, which would be upon us at the moment if it weren’t for the delay. Thankfully, we’ve had it confirmed that BlizzCon will be moving online and held shortly in February.
The event is set to now take place in mid-February, on the weekend of Friday the 19th and Saturday the 20th. This event, now dubbed BlizzConline by J. Allen Brack in a recent fireside chat, is meant to bring a similar BlizzCon experience for players.
Brack also announced another feature that BlizzConline will have, which has much of Blizzard’s fan base buzzing. According to Brack in his fireside chat, BlizzConline will be completely free to watch.
We may not have BlizzCon 2020, but today Blizzard President J. Allen Brack addressed the community in a special fireside chat, recapping what's new at Blizzard and revealing that BlizzConline will be free to watch!#Blizzard#Warcrafthttps://t.co/qwXSHRWnWs pic.twitter.com/6TYOC1gH3T
— Wowhead (@Wowhead) November 2, 2020
This might not sound like a big deal to some – why charge for a stream, anyway? – but given the usually-pricy tickets of the events, fans are more than a bit excited. This marks a wonderful chance for players that were never able to join in to enjoy the festivities.
Additionally, there is often an online component to BlizzCon for players that weren’t able to make it to the stadium. For example, a virtual ticket for BlizzCon 2019 was a $50 deal, which gave access to the streams.
It’s currently unknown if there will be any paid ticket options. While there obviously won’t be a physical event, many BlizzCons have rewarded players for their purchase of a ticket by giving them a myriad of collectibles for Blizzard games.
While we can’t say for certain what the developers might release, it’s likely that they’ll announce a digital package that gives players access to collectibles. Players look forward to these exclusives annually and, frankly, Blizzard is unlikely to give them away for free.
Then again, Blizzard was also unlikely to allow access to BlizzConline for free as well, so who can say! Either way, the festivities kicking off in mid-February will be free for all to enter and enjoy.