Olivia R. November 10, 2019
Before Overwatch fans found out about the Overwatch 2 reveal at BlizzCon, many were left wondering why the existing title wasn't getting a lot of updates. Blizzard vice president Jeff Kaplan has admitted that the development of Overwatch 2 is the cause of Overwatch 1's slowed update schedule.
In fact, Kaplan told fans he was relieved that he could finally clue them in on what they've been working on.
“Like, I sit right next to one of the designers of Junkenstein’s Revenge, this brilliant guy named Mike Heiberg, and he’s like, ‘I have all these ideas I want to do for Halloween this year.’ And I’m like ‘I understand, Mike, but we’re focused on this other thing right now.’ So it’s hard for us," Kaplan explained at BlizzCon.
The last Halloween event was underwhelming, with many upset at Junkenstein's Revenge returning with no changes made from the 2018 version of the mode. Last week, Overwatch received a patch that buffed Baptiste and Torbjorn. The support hero received a damage increase, while Torbjorn can use abilities more frequently.
That's a far cry from what fans have seen from the company in years past, however.
Overwatch will not be abandoned come Overwatch 2
While it had started to seem like Blizzard was abandoning the original title, Kaplan revealed that this is the furthest thing from the truth.
According to Overwatch's lead designer, Overwatch's lack of updates is just temporary and the game will continue to be supported when Overwatch 2 arrives. Not only that, but it will see more updates than ever before. Overwatch wil receive new maps and heroes when Overwatch 2 does, and the original game will also receive updates to its graphics.
This will also include the releases of new heroes such as Echo and Sojourn.
"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," Kaplan explained.
For this reason, Kaplan believes that Overwatch 2's release will be the "greatest moment" in the game's history.
“The fact that we can pick up again with that live service cadence, where we’re 100 percent focused, is really exciting to me," he said.
Kaplan admitted that they've been brainstorming new modes throughout the entirety of Overwatch's life, but most of the modes they came up with were only fun for a few days or were "impossible to balance." Some of these modes ended up in the arcade, while others were scrapped entirely.
Even if Overwatch doesn't receive new game modes, Kaplan promised the original would receive "meaningful" updates in their ongoing attempt to not abandon players that are invested in that title.
Meanwhile, Overwatch 2's release date has not been revealed, so fans will have to stick with the current game for now.