In 2019, Blizzard announced the shooter Overwatch 2. Already back then, hardly anyone understood that. And now that seems like a really bad idea, because Part 1 has been idle since then and Overwatch 2 is moving further and further back.
That was the announcement at the time: At BlizzCon 2019, Blizzard announced the shooter Overwatch 2. And the first reaction was a collective: “Huh?”
Hardly anyone understood what it was all about at the time. Because Overwatch 2 somehow looked exactly like Overwatch only with “Now there are PvE missions too!” Community said at the time: That sounds more like a DLC than a new game.
Well, Blizzard had to do something: In 2019, Overwatch had lost a bit of its early glamor. In 2016 and 2017 Overwatch celebrated enormous success. The shooter was able to inspire again and again with new heroes and stories. The gaming community held interest for years, but in 2018 Fortnite drew a lot of attention from Overwatch.
So something had to happen with Overwatch 2019 – but Part 2?
What made the announcement difficult back then? It wasn’t clear exactly what Overwatch 2 was supposed to bring. There was no impetus behind the fact that Blizzard fans would have wished for a “new Overwatch” now.
While other ranks of Blizzard were getting on in years and needed urgent replenishment, like Diablo or StarCraft, Overwatch was only 3 years old at the time and had had strong years.
In addition, Overwatch should function as an esports title and be constantly developed. Part 2 just looked weird.
Overwatch has been almost idle since 2019
While comparable games have been developed rapidly in the 2 years, almost nothing has happened with Overwatch. From 2016 to 2018, the game was a cash cow for Blizzard with bubbling sources of income via skins, with regular highlight updates that brought new heroes, and an esports league that sold expensive seats.
The e-sports league has lost much of its luster during the Corona period. They fell out with the casters and lost some of the most important players to their new competitor Valorant. In addition, the Overwatch icon, Jeff Kaplan, is now also an “ex-Blizzard” developer.
Overwatch developers contradict 2023 as the official release date
And what about Overwatch 2? Also almost nothing. That’s the frustrating thing. Little has been heard of Overwatch 2 since BlizzCon 2019. The last news was that the game wasn’t going to be out in 2022 as originally planned.
When some then concluded that it would appear in 2023, the team took a hard hit: Nobody would have ever said that. There would be no more official release date (via blizzard forums).
On the one hand, it sounds like Overwatch is still uncertain for 2023 and the target is closer to 2024. But it could also mean that 2022 is not completely off the table. The situation is uncertain.
An esports title in maintenance mode
That’s where it stands: It’s a strange development at Blizzard. Without much ado, the development of a well-running game that was jarring was stopped with the promise to bring the same game out again with a few changes. The point in time when this second game comes shifts back and forth, while the original game gradually crumbles and loses its relevance.
Blizzard put a lot of time and energy into Overwatch to build a community that loved the heroes and wanted to turn Overwatch into a world-class esports title. But since 2019, Overwatch has only been running in maintenance mode – and an Overwatch 2 seems to be just as far away as it was 2 years ago.