It isn't a secret that Blizzard produces some of the most highly anticipated and critically/commercially successful games out there. While every publisher has its fair share of flops, Blizzard's churned out ridiculously popular titles that throngs of fans absolutely adore, including Overwatch. Fans of the team-based shooter got a nice surprise last year when a teaser trailer for Overwatch 2 debuted, but when does the game officially come out?
When does 'Overwatch 2' come out? Blizzard's track record with release dates isn't the best.
Thanks to a series of public mishaps with Blizzard, many believed that Overwatch 2 and some of the company's other highly anticipated titles wouldn't be released until at least 2023.
Following the ongoing lawsuits, a company executive said Blizzard has faced a "high voluntary turnover," which has caused the delay.
“As we have worked with new leadership in Blizzard and within the franchises themselves, particularly in certain key creative roles, it has become apparent that some of the Blizzard content planned for next year will benefit from more development time to reach its full potential,” a Blizzard executive said, according to The Verge.
But during the Xbox and Bethesda Showcase in June 2022, it was made clear that players won't have to wait as long as they were anticipating.
Overwatch 2 will officially hit consoles and PC starting Oct. 4, 2022. Unlike its predecessor, the sequel will be a free-to-play title, removing a barrier of access to those who want to join in on the online FPS experience.
"At its core, we believe the game is a social experience that should be shared with everyone. This shift to free-to-play will open up and make the world of Overwatch available to more people than ever before, removing the barrier of entry and making it easier than ever to quickly jump into a match with friends," Blizzard wrote in a statement on its website.
"Inclusion is a strong driving force for this decision; when we stick together and work as a team, there's nothing that can stand in our way."
Here's a look at some of the changes coming to 'Overwatch 2.'
Blizzard announced big changes regarding Overwatch 2's game dynamics. For example, PvP team battles will be cut down from 6-on-6 to 5-on-5, according to game director Aaron Keller during the BlizzCon live stream. Keller also stated that teams will now be limited to one tank, two DPS characters, and two support players.
He said, "We feel like this is the next step in the way that Overwatch ought to be played. If you think about it, there is a lot going on in an Overwatch map. It is incredibly fast-paced. We have always tried to make our combat easy to read and very understandable, and even with all of the work that we've put into that, sometimes it's just hard to track what 11 other players are doing on the battlefield.
"Removing two of those simplifies everything, and it allows players to understand everything that's happening around them, and to be able to make better choices."
Geoff Goodman, who designs heroes in Overwatch, also stated that the role of tanks in the sequel will be more of a "hybrid" playing style, where they will be able to deal more damage than they used to, instead of just being used as damage absorption.
BlizzCon 2021 also debuted at least two new maps for 'Overwatch 2' and a bunch of other updates.
Gamers will get to duke it out in New York and Rome when the sequel drops, and in addition to the new team/tank dynamics, Blizzard showed off Sojourn's weapon. The combination railgun/assault rifle looks really, really cool. What's cool about the weapon is that you'll get to charge it up or use as a fully automatic blaster.
Blizzard's also expressed interest in trying out new "passive" abilities depending on the roles someone's playing. Tanks will get knockback reduction, and decreased ultimate charge for any damage that they sustain.
For DPS roles, they'll get increased speed, making them even deadlier. Support players will get automatic healing after they avoid taking any damage for a period of time.
What's cool about these "passive" abilities is that they're role based, and while each player has their own unique abilities, the passive boosts give everyone one less thing to remember when playing the game. Plus it gives haters less of an incentive to shout "cheap."