The Launch of Overwatch 2

The Launch of Overwatch 2

Picture by Ashlee Guardado

On May 24, 2016, a new game called “Overwatch” was launched by Blizzard Entertainment. Blizzard was very relevant at the time for their popular game, “World of Warcraft,” which led to a quick popularity spike for “Overwatch.” “Overwatch” was a one-of-a-kind multiplayer first-person shooter featuring 21 heroes and 12 maps at launch. Every hero was classified under one of three different roles; DPS (Damage Per Second), support, or tank, and each character had different abilities. The game kept evolving, peaking at 7.3 million players with 32 heroes and 22 maps. 

During a Blizzcon event in November 2019, Jeff Kaplan, the retired game director, announced the creation of “Overwatch 2.” This arrived with a cinematic trailer featuring multiple heroes battling together. Unfortunately, this trailer didn’t present many details other than the new appearance of most of the heroes. 

Blizzard didn’t release factual information about the game until later live streams and interviews. As a result, the “Overwatch” official Twitter became a suitable location to acquire information on the game; when Blizzard released anything, they would post it there. Many announcements captured the public’s attention. Specifically, anything majorly distinguishable from the first game became fairly discussed.

Over the three years between the announcement and the launch of “Overwatch 2” on October 4, 2022, there were many changes that the developers shared. Of course, many fans found a love-hate relationship with every announcement. Overall, most of the new components being shared were welcomed, but some of these features weren’t added to the game. Controversy sparked.

For example, during early-stage development, Blizzard publicized that they would add a story mode to “Overwatch 2.” Unfortunately, nothing more was released regarding a story mode after the original announcement. Despite the lack of information, this became a highly anticipated feature and quickly accumulated popularity throughout the fandom. 

However, when Blizzard opened “Overwatch 2” to the public, there was no story mode. This generated a lot of backlash, causing fans to argue that Blizzard rushed “Overwatch 2” into being completed. While this controversy continued, the company announced on Twitter that story mode would still be utilized and that it just required more development. While this did calm the fandom, the game still aggravated multiple fans.

On the other hand, Blizzard made their game balanced. A system was used where there could be two DPS, two tanks, and two supports. This system made every round a 6v6 match; however, the use of two tanks made many people upset. The tanks in the game often had shields, an extra 200 health, and higher damage outputs. Due to this, tanks would often overpower the other heroes, and it took forever to kill tanks.

Luckily, during the live stream, it was displayed that the teams would now be comprised of five people. This change eliminated the team’s second tank, making the tanks less burdensome. DPS and support players were delighted when they heard about this adjustment. However, players who manned tank characters weren’t too pleased about the modification. 

This new 5v5 feature was introduced into the game during the beta phase and is still the central part of “Overwatch 2.” The 5v5 element has made the “Overwatch 2” community less toxic. With fewer tanks being utilized, the competition has become more accessible and enjoyable. This will likely be a permanent feature throughout “Overwatch 2.”

While there were numerous issues with the launch of “Overwatch 2,” one main concern threw everyone off. The game’s promotion suggested that it would be completely refreshed and unique. This became a huge problem when the game was released. The primary difference between the “Overwatch” and “Overwatch 2” games had little to do with gameplay. The most significant difference was the game’s visuals; lighting was adjusted, the characters got new appearances, and the menus were altered. This led to considerable controversy; fans of the game became furious and started arguing about the game being an extension. Primarily everyone in the fandom believes that the game should have been advertised as an extensive update.

Many players have started blaming this flawed launch on the new developer of “Overwatch 2,” Aaron Keller. However, after Keller took charge of “Overwatch” as a whole, development seemed to slow down, and many modifications were made that had angry feedback.

“Overwatch 2” is still enjoyable to play; despite its cons, multiple players will nonetheless appreciate the game. While there were numerous difficulties at launch, Blizzard is working as quickly as possible to improve any issues and is planning to have everything patched soon. Additionally, developers have apologized for the unorganized launch and are compromising by giving away some complimentary loot and credits until everything is resolved.