Overwatch 2 is not a typical sequel, and that’s by design.
You may have noticed that Blizzard has a bit of an unusual setup with Overwatch 2. All of Overwatch 2’s multiplayer maps, heroes and modes will also be available in the original game.
Blizzard is so proud of not leaving existing players behind that it hopes other sequels in the industry will do the same. According to game director Jeff Kaplan, it took a lot of convincing to arrive at this version.
“It’s very challenging because the industry has done things the same way for so long,” Jeff Kaplan told Kotaku Australia at Blizzcon. “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’s argument is that keeping players happy boosts the game’s health in the long run, even if short-term gains won’t be as big.
“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,” he explained.
“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.”
Kaplan also pointed out that Blizzard challenged industry trends before with the original Overwatch by promising all future content will be available for free to all players, which also took some convincing at the time.
“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,” he added.
“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 does not yet have a release date.