Overwatch 2 was delayed and fans were left puzzled as to why. While the initial explanation of a bug caused confusion, Blizzard changed their story saying there needed more time for polish. What might this mean for other games?
The “why is overwatch 2 taking so long” has been a question that many Overwatch fans have been asking. Blizzard has released an official statement on the issue.
I wrote in February that although the approaching release and development of Overwatch 2 were exciting, the community will suffer if nothing meaningful was added to the original game. After nine months and an ongoing litigation, it’s difficult to claim the overall outlook for Overwatch 2 is even marginally better than it was back then. Now that the game has been postponed until at least 2023, I’m left with a slew of questions.
What caused the postponement of Overwatch 2?
Image courtesy of Blizzard
When asked about the delays on Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4, Mike Ybarra, Blizzard’s now-single CEO, claimed that the delays were mostly due to leadership changes on both projects. This is straightforward, and it is unlikely to be a reference to Jeff Kaplan’s departure earlier this year.
In reality, this is due to Executive Producer Chacko Sonny’s departure in September. Sonny was well-liked within Blizzard and was viewed as one of the most important parts of Overwatch’s future after Kaplan’s departure. Sonny has not been named in the Activision Blizzard incident, but he did say he was taking a break after five years of committed work, presumably to distance himself from the company’s current negative press.
To be honest, I think the change in leadership had a lot to do with the delay, but there might be more to it. Obviously, Ybarra will avoid mentioning the sexual harassment case as a contributing reason, but it has had a significant impact across the board. Even BlizzCon was just canceled. Both of these things, as well as the delays, seem to be attempts by the firm to go as dark as possible in the near future. That way, they’ll be able to return a year from now and re-ignite interest in their forthcoming games. That, however, is just wishful thinking.
What does this signify for Overwatch’s first season?
Image courtesy of Blizzard
Following up on my essay on how Overwatch may grow stale as a result of the development team delaying updates until the sequel was released, we discovered that this was indeed the case. Since then, the game has experienced the same occurrences year after year, with the same stale material. A pair of new Deathmatch maps are the only big additions this year. In fact, McCree’s long-overdue name change to Cole Cassidy is perhaps the most important Overwatch update since Echo was released in April 2020. So, what’s next?
I’m sad to confess that I had no expectations. Let’s pretend Overwatch 2 was supposed to be released in May 2022, as some speculations claimed. All of the postponed development will just lengthen the wait for the new core maps and heroes, which were supposed to infuse fresh life into the original game, and now we’ll have to wait even longer. Content for Overwatch 2 that we’ve known about for years, like as the hero Sojourn, the Toronto map, and Push mode, will only be revealed with the whole game. Meanwhile, anticipate the same old stuff for the next year and beyond.
Of course, this dissatisfies me. After a six-month hiatus, I just resumed playing Overwatch. I still like the gameplay and appreciated the break, but I stand by everything I wrote about Blizzard making a mistake by abandoning the first game and saving the completed material for the sequel.
Isn’t there an Overwatch League?
Image courtesy of Variety
Because it was stated in September that the league would be playing an early version of Overwatch 2 when the next season starts in April 2022, this is the most pressing “short-term” issue for 2022. That, according to reports, is still the intention. For a year, only professionals will have access to the new Overwatch PvP content. Perhaps esports fans will like it, but I believe many will be irritated at having to wait while the league gets to play with the new toy. The fact that it is sitting in front of us in a playable form, but only the greatest in the world can play it for a year just adds to the dissatisfaction with the impending public release.
One of my most eagerly awaited video games is Overwatch 2. Blizzard has, in my opinion, failed to adequately explain its predicament and why people should be enthusiastic about it. There are valid accusations that this is more of an expansion than a complete sequel. Regardless, folks like myself, who used to (and still do) play the game every day, will be sitting here waiting for the next stuff to trickle in. With the reforms at Activision Blizzard finally taking place, I’m hopeful that things will improve for the employees. I’m at a loss for words as to why one of my all-time favorite games promotes itself as a continuing service game when that is no longer the case. Instead, it focuses on being “fun” for players who were expecting so much more.
The “overwatch 2 release date 2022” is a question that has been asked after the Overwatch 2 delay. The Overwatch 2 was originally scheduled to be released in May, but it was delayed until September.
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