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BlizzCon Online: J. Allen Brack begins with a message of gratitude and hope

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BlizzCon is finally back as an online-only event today, with Blizzard Entertainment President J. Allen Black celebrating a two-day opening ceremony.

He thanked the fans for continuing to play Blizzard games during the pandemic and the employees who worked away from home.

He said that’s the great thing about video games. They give us experiences related to the times of our lives and the experiences we take on with us. The game is here for us at a good time. Here for us, even when we feel lonely or perhaps uncertain. And while many of us spent most of 2020 in real-life homes, the game has become an even more escape. Free from external concerns. Even for a short time.

The event will be the 30th anniversary of Blizzard.

So this is pretty weird, Black said. Usually when starting BlizzCon, the opening call is my favorite Warcraft faction. Alliance. I think I’m talking to 40,000 people at the Anaheim Convention Center and millions of people around the world.

He said he wasn’t sure how thousands of Blizzard employees could work together while being limited to remote work. He said the team held together. He said the World of Warcraft team will show the next appointments for both Shadowlands and Classic. Hearthstone has news, and Diablo has news.

He said there was already a lot to look forward to.

The Overwatch League is back in the spring. World of Warcraft esports is back in Shadowlands arena format. StarCraft II esports continues and Hearthstone esports qualifying is underway. He has unveiled a retro collection of classic Blizzard games such as The Lost Vikings, Rock n Roll Racing and Blackthorne in the Blizzard Arcade Collection.

Blizzard showed many scenes of Diablo IV and later made fun of learning from Diablo Immortal mobile games. We also announced that Diablo II: a resurrected remake is coming. The company will also release the Burning Crusade Classic version. Still, despite all the remakes, Black said that far more developers are working on future games beyond the remakes.

Above: J. Allen Black is President of Blizzard Entertainment.

Image Credit: Blizzard

Last May, Blizzard canceled the 2020 BlizzCon event due to a pandemic. But then we scheduled the online-only BlizzCon as a two-day event from today to the end of Saturday.

At the time, fans haven’t got the actual updates on Blizzard since the new company’s president, Black, opened the BlizzCon 2019 Fanfest. At that event, when a Hearthstone player protested China’s crackdown on freedom in Hong Kong a few weeks ago, he had to apologize for failing to take the right position.

We didn’t meet the high standards we set for ourselves, Mr Black said. I’m sorry, but I accept accountability.

It was after Blizzard stepped into the midst of a fundamental cultural clash between US freedom of speech and Chinese censorship. It began when Blizzard Hearthstone pro player Blitz Chun upheld Hong Kong’s protest against the Chinese government in a post-victory interview on Sunday. Blizzard responded with severe penalties for violations of the Code of Conduct, but fans opposed Blizzard’s compliance with Chinese censorship rules.

Today, Black said Blizzard will continue to fight toxicity, support diversity and help cause it to do good in the world. He said he was honored to be the caretaker of the role the player takes on.

No matter who you are or where you come from, there is space where you can create your own experience, he said.

He ended up saying, “Get better with each other.” And Metallica played a song to conclude it.

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