Blizzard, a giant of the games behind franchises like World of Warcraft, Diablo and Overwatch, will not attend Gamescom this year. The company said in a statement that it is not attending the show in Cologne, Germany as part of its "renewed effort" in 2019 to focus on the development of games.
Blizzard plans to return to Gamescom someday, but it's unclear when.
"As part of a renewed effort this year to keep our focus on development, for our current games and our future projects, we will not have a booth at Gamescom 2019," Blizzard said. "The show is important to the European and global gaming community, and we're going to miss the challenge of finding players in Cologne this year. You'll still be able to find Blizzard equipment in the gamescom 2019 stores area, and look forward to returning to the Gamescom shows in the future ".
Blizzard also said in its statement that it is eager to talk about upcoming unannounced projects "when the time is right."
Confirmation of Blizzard's exit from Gamescom comes a few days after the company announced a greater presence for BlizzCon 2019. The company has even more planned activities for the event and apparently as a result, ticket prices are rising.
In December last year, Kotaku reported that Blizzard was undergoing cost-cutting measures to prepare for a "lean 2019". Operating a booth at a big show like Gamescom probably does not cost much, so letting the program undoubtedly save some money for Blizzard.
Gamescom, which is open to the public, is considered the world's largest gaming fair. About 370,000 people from 114 countries participated in the 2018 show, according to GI.biz. By comparison, the all-time all-time attendance record for E3 is 70,000 in 2005. E3 has only recently opened to the public, while Gamescom has been public for years.