When Blizzard makes it rain, it tends to pour. And that’s not a good thing for Overwatch fans.
The embattled company is struggling at the moment and that turmoil seemingly isn’t exclusive to the boardroom. According to Overwatch streamer Metro, multiple people in and around the development of Overwatch 2 have expressed skepticism regarding the possibility of the game launching next year, with its likely release date being shoved back into 2023.
Blizzard has not announced any change in its plans for the game, but Metro has historically had a read on insider news within Blizzard. If true, another extended delay for Overwatch 2 carries some serious questions about the state of the game and leaves the future of the franchise in doubt.
I’ve heard from multiple people close to my original source with OW2 that the development is taking longer than expected. From what I can gather a release in 2022 does not seem likely anymore. I hope this is false and I’m proven wrong.
— Metro (@Metro_OW) August 7, 2021
Overwatch 2 was first announced in 2019 and fans have been growing increasingly frustrated with a perceived lack of progress on the game’s development. Blizzard has shown fans very little when it comes to Overwatch, which hasn’t inspired much faith in the game’s progression.
Complicating this further is the fact that there have been minimal updates to the original Overwatch as Blizzard puts its development effort into the sequel. If things move on in this way, this would leave Overwatch players with no significant updates for at least 18 more months. Many fans stated that they can’t imagine themselves remaining committed to Overwatch for that long without any significant new content.
Just a few years ago, Blizzard was one of the most beloved companies in gaming with franchises like StarCraft, Warcraft, and Diablo being held up among the greatest games of all time. But over the last few years, hits to Blizzard’s reputation have come on a regular basis. Those problems may now be affecting the release of Overwatch 2, the company’s next big original title.
The developer has attracted significant criticism for repeated mass layoffs, pandering to authoritarian regimes, and releasing half-developed games. Blizzard is currently embroiled in what might be its worst controversy yet, with the company facing an enormous lawsuit for a workplace culture that is allegedly rife with sexual harassment and gender discrimination. A slew of past employees of the company have corroborated parts of the lawsuit and reflected on their own experiences within the company.
There’s no question that Blizzard remains a successful publisher with World of Warcraft going strong and Diablo 2 Resurrected poised to be a smash hit, but faith in the company is at an all-time low. Another extended delay for Overwatch 2 is a drop in the bucket at this point, but still one that Overwatch fans are not happy to hear about.