Overwatch has withered as Blizzard Entertainment has worked on Overwatch 2, which has also had scant and infrequent updates since it was announced, meaning Overwatch fans have been stuck in the dark with two different games. Game Director Aaron Keller recently addressed that lack of communication, promising more frequent updates while also announcing some big changes coming to the sequel.
He started the video by thanking fans for their patience and apologizing for the dearth of updates regarding Overwatch 2. There will be more developer updates throughout the year and will divulge what the studio has learned, changes it is considering, and what it is about to test.
“We recognize that we haven’t communicated well, haven’t kept you update to date, and, honestly, we’ve let you down when it comes to delivering Overwatch content,” said Keller. “We hear you and we are committed to more continual updates on all things Overwatch 2.”
Keller then said that the team rethought Overwatch 2 with the “singular focus” of making it a living game that serves up “exciting content on a regular basis.” This shift has meant Overwatch 2 is changing as the team is “decoupling” the PVP and PVE experiences. This will let players get their hands on part of the sequel even sooner.
He then later talked about how the live game of the first Overwatch has stagnated as the team focused its development efforts on Overwatch 2. He continued, elaborating that Overwatch 2‘s PVP changes would be slowly rolled into the “live game” instead of being one big drop, as was the case with the original launch plans. While he did leave out some details, it was implied that these changes from the sequel, like heroes, maps, and reworks, are being integrated into the live version of the first Overwatch in chunks as if they were regular seasonal updates.
The game is getting a closed alpha soon for Overwatch League players, Blizzard employees, and select others, as well as a wider closed beta on PC in April and a second beta later in the year. This will let players get hands-on time with the new characters, hero reworks, maps, five-on-five setup, new mode, and ping system, the latter of which sounds like it was inspired by Apex Legends. Sojourn, who has shown up in various shorts, seasonal missions, and Overwatch 2 art, was listed as the new hero in the closed beta and Doomfist, Baston, Sombra, and Orisa were listed as the characters getting reworks in the April beta. The April beta will also have four maps: Circuit Royal (Escort), Midtown (Hybrid), New Queen Street (Push), and Colosseo (Push).