Out with the old, in with the new
There’s been some confusion surrounding the state of the Overwatch franchise recently, especially when it comes to what will happen to the original after Overwatch 2 is released. Well, it looks like we finally have our confirmation, thanks to a Reddit AMA response from Overwatch 2‘s director Aaron Keller. Yesterday, when a player asked Keller if the first Overwatch will be shut down after the sequel leaves early access, he responded that “When OW2 launches on Oct 4th it will be a replacement for the current Live Service.”
If Twitter is any indication, players are still pretty confused about what’s supposed to happen to the first Overwatch game after OW2 is officially out.
Back when Overwatch 2 was announced, former game director Jeff Kaplan had promised that cross-play between the two games would be possible, stating that it would be a “shared multiplayer environment where no one gets left behind.” But the transition was never going to be that easy, with the clearest reason being that Overwatch 2 marks a transition for the series to 5v5 rather than 6v6.
#Overwatch2 arrives October 4, ushering in a new era for the franchise as a free-to-play live service game!
Learn more about the game and our commitment to deliver frequent seasonal content updates that expand the game to ensure there’s always something new to play. pic.twitter.com/tAzPPtvcP0
— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) June 16, 2022
In that same Reddit post, Keller promised a whole host of new content for the new game during Seasons One and Two, including “new heroes, maps, and features,” as well as the launch of the highly anticipated PvE campaign next year.
The question is though, is this flood of content coming too late?
Fans have felt neglected over the past few years since the announcement of Overwatch 2 — while it was still exciting to think about the upcoming sequel, players kind of felt like they had been left out to dry with no significant updates, no new seasonal events, and very few new hero reveals. It’s still incredibly impressive that the Overwatch team was able to juggle developing both of the games at the same time, but it’s pretty obvious that the dual-development stretched the team way too thin.
As someone who at one point clocked in over 1,500 hours in Overwatch, I’m still reluctantly hopeful for the sequel. At the very least, it will be free-to-play, so we can all check it out without sinking too much cost at the start.