If you played Overwatch in the first year or so, you were bedazzled by some of the new content that Blizzard added to the game. Summer Games, Junkenstein’s Revenge, Winter Wonderland, Chinese New Year, Uprising (later part of Archives) – these were some average to great limited time events. Barring Archives over the past two years, these events have lacked any new content aside from cosmetics, much less meaningful changes or additions.
Was Overwatch 2, recently revealed at BlizzCon 2019, the reason for this? According to director Jeff Kaplan while speaking to Kotaku, it was “100 percent the reason. And that was the reason that we were so excited to announce Overwatch 2. We now feel like we can have that open dialogue with the community of, ‘This is what we’re doing, this is why we’re doing these things.’” Which kind of explains why the team felt demoralized with the leaks.
He also talked about how offering the same events with little changes caused “pains” for the team. “Like, I sit right next to one of the designers of Junkenstein’s Revenge—this brilliant guy named Mike Heiberg—and he’s like ‘I have all these ideas I want to do for Halloween this year.’ And I’m like ‘I understand, Mike, but we’re focused on this other thing right now.’ So it’s hard for us.”
Overwatch still receives new heroes and maps, and when Overwatch 2 is available, it will also have all the new visual improvements and features. Of course, legacy players will also have access to all the new heroes, maps and modes. “There will be a point where the clients merge. We think this is important, especially as a competitive experience. The whole idea is to avoid fragmenting the player base and giving anybody a competitive advantage. If we’re playing in the same competitive pool, you’d better not have a better framerate just because you’re on a different version of the engine.”
Kaplan noted that when the sequel is complete will be the most exciting time. “The fact that we can pick up again with that live service cadence, where we’re 100 per cent focused, is really exciting to me.” Don’t hold your breath though – the company will probably talk about it more at BlizzCon 2020 but Kaplan earlier stated that he has “no idea” when Overwatch 2 is coming out.
Overwatch 2 is currently in development for Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch and PC.