Game director Jeff Kaplan says that Overwatch 1 and the recently announced Overwatch 2 will eventually merge into one client. In a recent interview with Kotaku, Kaplan confirms that although currently Overwatch 2 is a separate game, one day the two games will combine into one client for “competitive” reasons.
Overwatch 2 was one of the many announcements from BlizzCon fans were excited about. It will introduce some new heroes, maps, and a whole new ‘Push’ mode, giving a new shine to a game that very much needs some attention. Kaplan does touch on this during the interview, saying that Overwatch 2 was “100% the reason” that Overwatch updates had stagnated.
Some fans would notice that many of the seasonal events coming to the game haven’t changed. Overwatch’s Junkenstein’s Revenge, although it is one of the best Halloween events, was no different this year from last year. New maps are infrequent, as are new characters, for example, Sigma, Overwatch’s newest hero came to the game almost four months ago.
Overwatch 2 is a welcome update to the game, but questions have arisen regarding its identity as a separate game. Other games within the Blizzard family may receive large updates without the entire client and game being separated, so what has changed for Overwatch’s next major development? As it turns out, not much.
Kaplan says that “There will be a point where the clients merge. 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.” So although for now, yes Overwatch 1 and 2 are different games, from this description it looks like they’ll become one experience in the future.
Kaplan said during the Overwatch 2 announcement that they wanted this new Overwatch development to “really redefine what a sequel means”. It looks like it means getting players to pay for some new major content before merging games in one later on down the line.
On the bright side, although we currently don’t have a release date for Overwatch 2, we now know how hard they’ve been working on the sequel so maybe the release is sooner than we think.