In somewhat of an expected twist, with the announcement of Overwatch 2, its precursor was seeing less love from the devs. Speaking to Kotaku during BlizzCon, the yearly convention hosted by Blizzard Entertainment, Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan admitted Overwatch 2 was a primary reason behind the “sluggish updates” of the original title. This was even a huge factor as to why they were so happy to announce the game.
“That was the reason that we were so excited to announce Overwatch 2. We now feel like we can have that open dialogue with the community of, ‘This is what we’re doing, this is why we’re doing these things.’”
He assured it wasn’t the death of the first Overwatch, but rather a stasis. One of the driving features for Overwatch 2 is its compatibility to play online with its precursor’s players. This includes the old game getting the new maps, characters, and abilities, leaving the only clear differentiation being its story mode. Kaplan expressed his desire to avoid “fragmenting the player base”.
“There will be a point where the clients merge, we think this is important, especially as a competitive experience. The whole idea is to avoid fragmenting the player base and giving anybody a competitive advantage. If we’re playing in the same competitive pool, you’d better not have a better framerate just because you’re on a different version of the engine.”
Needless to say, more consistent updates are inbound for those still playing Overwatch. The game launched back in May 2016 as the first brand-new IP by Blizzard in 17 years. It blew up and became a staple in the eSports world. This year’s BlizzCon had them announce Overwatch 2 in a cinematic trailer.