Overwatch is a very popular video game, owed in large part to its impressive roster of likable characters, wide array of game modes and maps, but most importantly the engaging gameplay. Players have dumped hundreds upon hundreds of hours on an individual level into it as they blitz through match after match. So the surprise announcement of Overwatch 2, a new sequel to the original, had a lot of players freaking out. The original announcement was beset with panic over loss of all the progress and rewards players had earned over the years since launch. Blizzard quickly put an end to the panic however as they revealed that all of the original content would be in the new game, fully enabling cross-play between the two games. But apparently, this may not have originally been the plan.
Game director and vice president Jeff Kaplan revealed that there was some pushback within the developer over that prospect. Blizzard and Jeff Kaplan appear to be on the same page now though. In a bit of far-sighted vision for the games industry, Blizzard made the surprising announcement that all the content and progress from the original version would be carried over to the new game. It says a lot about the state of the industry that this is the case, but I digress.
During an interview Jeff Kaplan revealed some of the background work around the idea of combining the two games, and how some at the company resisted it. He absolutely made the point clear about how the industry resists change saying, “It’s very challenging because the industry has done things the same way for so long,” via VG247. He expanded on his point by adding that it was a real struggle to get people to see things his way. “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.”
What all of this means is that all of the multiplayer content of maps, heroes, skins and more will be included in the sequel. There will be some reason to pick up the new game though, as Overwatch 2 will include all of that new singleplayer content, like Hero missions. There will also be some PvE modes unique to the sequel.
Overwatch 2 is due to launch sometime in the future, although specific platforms and a release date are not yet known.