With all the details on Overwatch 2’s co-op mode, hero updates and shared multiplayer, what exactly will Overwatch 2 be?
Blizzard is going all in on the PvE aspect of the game. We know there will be a main campaign vastly centered around highly repayable co-op, and I am left wondering what Overwatch 2 actually is. Does the first Overwatch become obsolete over time? How does Blizzard continue to maintain the first and the second Overwatch game in parallel? Will players of the original Overwatch truly feel included or will they feel left behind? It appears like we didn’t get all the questions we needed at last year's BlizzCon 2019.
Let's be clear, the announcement of Overwatch 2 was a delight. Director of Overwatch Jeff Kaplan gave a detailed explanation of just how Overwatch 2 will work with the original. It was clear, concise and involving, and clarified at length how the second game will operate with the first. Yet, it still felt like something was missing from Jeff's answers. For example, we do not yet currently have a price for Overwatch 2. Does this mean pre-existing players will have to pay more for something that’s vastly similar to that of the original?
The bold and the brave
One thing took me by surprise originally when watching the announcement. This is Overwatch, the incredibly popular competitive shooter that has over 55 million unique players worldwide, hugely successful in its Overwatch League. And yet, Blizzard took steps to announce Overwatch 2 at BlizzCon 2019. It’s hard not to compare this to the Fortnite 2 announcement. There, players of the original Fortnite were treated to a black hole where it was later confirmed that Fortnite would be progressing to Fortnite Chapter 2. While not identical, there are some similarities in both Blizzard and Epic Games' announcements and their progression in both games.
More importantly, this project is a huge investment for Blizzard. They know a second game would retain current users, target new audiences with specific story modes and co-op. A second installment will also bring back players that lost interest in playing the original. With Overwatch 2 being a hybrid of online competitive multiplayer and single-player story mode, the original Overwatch game doesn’t get left in the dust... Yet.
Hopes and concerns
What concerns me overall is Blizzard’s commitment to the original title. While Jeff has promised a “shared universe” between both games, we all know that Overwatch 2 will be the better of the two. Anyone not playing it will unfortunately suffer from FOMO (Fear of missing out). Ultimately, they will need to buy the latest title, because, well, everyone else has it.
It seems Blizzard won’t abandon the original Overwatch for the time being – we were promised continuous regular updates even after Overwatch 2’s release. But if upper management decides to kick the bucket with the original, the player base would definitely have a thing or three to say about it. On the one hand, the announcement is exciting for developers, players, investors and more. But I look on with caution about how Blizzard proceeds long-term with both games, keeping them equally updated in this “shared universe”. Of course, we’ll be keeping you informed of any updates on Blizzard, Overwatch 2 and its universe. For now, Overwatch is back.