“If I’m a player of the game, this feels right and fair,” says director Jeff Kaplan.
Blizzard Entertainment’s Overwatch 2 was one of the major announcements at BlizzCon 2019. Though it was leaked beforehand (something which the development team wasn’t happy about), we heard more about how the sequel would handle the current game. Essentially, current owners will gain access to all of the new heroes, maps, and modes coming in the sequel.
The existing game’s launcher will be updated accordingly and all of the current 31 heroes will receive new looks. Only the new PvE missions have to be paid for but getting Blizzard to cater to legacy owners wasn’t easy. Speaking to Kotaku Australia, director Jeff Kaplan said, “It’s very challenging because the industry has done things the same way for so long. And so it’s hard to get people, push them out of their comfort zone and say, hey I think we could do it a better way.”
Kaplan believes that catering to current players is “the right thing” and will ensure the game’s long-term success. “I try to tell them if we do what’s right by the players, they will be happy, we we will have a better game, and we will end up in a better place in the long run.
“Rather than having this short sighted thinking that’s usually driven by anxiety of ‘the only way to get players to play Overwatch 2 is to cut off all the Overwatch 1 players and starve them out and force them to come over’ and, you know, make that game just sort of die on the vine.”
This isn’t new territory – Kaplan also had a tough time convincing the company to make all maps, modes and heroes in the base game free. “The fact that we were going to include all future heroes and all future maps, you know, moving forward on basically a boxed game was unheard of at the time. A lot of the people at the company had to take a big leap and go, wait, nobody else is doing this. And we challenged. We said, we think this is right: if I’m a player of the game this feels right and fair.”
Overwatch 2 is in development for Xbox One, PS4, PC, and Nintendo Switch. It doesn’t currently have a release date, and Kaplan said he has “no idea” when it’s coming out. Regardless, more details are expected at BlizzCon 2020, so stay tuned.