Overwatch 2 Announced at BlizzCon 2019, Adds New Multiplayer Game Mode
Blizzard pulls back the curtain on Overwatch 2, announcing the game officially after weeks of persistent rumors asserting the game is in development.
Blizzard finally announced the existence of Overwatch 2 after weeks of speculation from fans and rumors circulating all over the internet regarding leaks of the game’s existence. Overwatch is one of Blizzard’s most popular properties and has blossomed into a consistent, well-promoted esports platform that has launched the careers of several athletes alongside the Overwatch League, which has garnered support from rich investors and cities to help host events.
Rumors began circulating about a possible Overwatch 2 when a report surfaced suggesting Blizzard was hard at work on both Diablo 4 and the sequel to Overwatch. While the former was expected by fans – especially after the brutal reception of Diablo Immortal last year – the latter was something of a surprise, given that Overwatch is still going strong and had recently launched on Nintendo Switch. Rumors about Overwatch 2 placed it more along the lines of a single-player campaign that would dive deeper into the lore that many players have fallen in love with. Later, reports would surface that also suggested the possibility of a new multiplayer mode in Overwatch 2 altogether, something that wouldn’t replace the traditional experience but would instead offer a different avenue for competition.
Vice President of Blizzard Jeff Kaplan took the stage to announce the game and began the reveal with a preamble about how the developers felt about the leaks, suggesting that they were fairly upset – although it was all conducted tongue-in-cheek. In classic Kaplan fashion, the reveal took ages to actually get going. Finally, though, the trailer began, and it was a long and storied glimpse into Overwatch lore that began with Winston, Mei, and Tracer on a mission to Paris fighting against Null Sector, a terrorist organization in game lore. Eventually, the trailer revealed the gang getting back together to reform the Overwatch unit:
Overwatch 2 will have a new core PvP game mode called Push. Overwatch 2 will add a new hero in Sojourn, alongside multiple new heroes over the course of the game’s lifespan. The game will also feature a new map based on Toronto, the first Canadian city to be featured in the game. Kaplan also announced that the game would feature PvE content that will expand on the character’s stories, including Story Missions. There will also be Hero Missions, which focus on “highly replayable” co-op experiences. Players can level up their heroes and customize them in this mode. All the characters are getting remade art directions.
Kaplan suggested that Overwatch 2 will redefine what a “sequel” means: current Overwatch players will get to play with the new heroes and new maps that come to Overwatch 2, and it is being described as a “shared multiplayer environment” where no player will get left behind. Kaplan also confirmed that all Overwatch cosmetics will come with players to Overwatch 2.
It’s a huge announcement from Blizzard – the future of the company, and its esports programs, will likely run through Overwatch 2. The new gameplay modes didn’t get a lot of airtime, though, so until more solid details are revealed, players will need to remain cautiously optimistic about the future of the series.