Overwatch

Everything we know about Overwatch 2: Release date, game modes, more

by Joe O'Brien

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Blizzard are expected to announce Overwatch 2 at this year’s BlizzCon, which is due to take place on November 1-3.

BlizzCon is the annual Blizzard Convention at which the developers reveal upcoming projects, new content and, sometimes, entirely new games. This year, one of the headline announcements is expected to be a sequel for their hero-based FPS Overwatch.

While some details of Overwatch 2 have started to emerge, much still remains unknown about the new title. It’s not even entirely clear whether Overwatch 2 is designed as a complete replacement for Overwatch, or simply a means of expanding the universe.

Full details won’t be announced until BlizzCon, the schedule for which can be found on our dedicated page, but in the meantime here’s everything we know about Overwatch 2 so far.

Blizzard
Blizzard

What game modes will Overwatch 2 have?

Details regarding the content of Overwatch 2 have been fairly limited, but the game is believed to feature both PvE and PvP elements.

According to a report by ESPN, one of the PvE missions will be a four-player story experience based in Rio de Janeiro, suggesting that the game may expand on the four-player PvE style of content offered by the Overwatch Archives event missions in the current game.

In addition, leaks have suggested that PvE modes will feature character progression, with heroes having their own levels and talents that allow players to customize their abilities. 

Meanwhile, the game will also reportedly introduce a new PvP mode named “Push”, which will be shown off on a new Toronto-based map. Details of how this mode will work exactly remain unknown.

Blizzard
Blizzard
Overwatch 2 will reportedly introduce hero talents for PvE modes.


Will Overwatch 2 be free to play?

One of the biggest changes introduced by Overwatch 2 could well be a change in the approach Blizzard take to monetizing it, with supposed leaker Metro claiming that the game will become free to play.

Metro has made a variety of claims about what’s coming in Overwatch 2, although with nothing made official by Blizzard yet, they should of course be taken with a pinch of salt until confirmed.

Recent years have seen an increasing shift towards a free-to-play model for major titles, with many of the world’s biggest games now being available for free. This is especially true when it comes to Overwatch’s esports competitors, with the biggest titles like League of Legends, CS:GO and Dota 2 all free to play.

Given that Overwatch was recently released for Nintendo Switch at retail price, however, it seems fairly likely that if the game will become free to play, it won’t be for some time yet.

Blizzard
Blizzard
The reported Overwatch 2 logo.

When will Overwatch 2 be released?

Unfortunately, so far there’s no word on when the game will actually be released, and it could very much depend on just how significant an overhaul Overwatch 2 is.

Historically, new games announced at BlizzCon are often a fair way out – Overwatch itself was announced at BlizzCon 2014 and not released until May 2016, while new World of Warcraft expansions are typically first revealed roughly nine months in advance.

However, it’s also not impossible that Blizzard might want to get players hands-on with the new version of Overwatch as soon as possible, and there’s certainly precedent for a much quicker turn-around between reveal and release, albeit not from Blizzard themselves.

Epic Games recently made their own major overhaul to their enormously popular battle royale Fortnite, releasing the game’s chapter 2. Despite coming with an all-new map, new weapons, and more, there was no waiting after an announcement or extended beta period – the overhaul simply arrived with Fortnite's "The End" event.

Whether Blizzard could take this approach remains to be seen, and also depends heavily on exactly how much and what kind of new content will be coming with Overwatch 2.

Blizzard
Blizzard
Leaks suggest Overwatch commander Sojourn could also be joining the game as a new hero.


Will Overwatch 2 be on next-gen consoles?

With the PlayStation 5 expected to be released in time for the 2020 holiday season – and an Xbox competitor likely on its way for a similar time period – fans looking forward to the console upgrade may be hoping to play Overwatch 2 on the new hardware. 

With no release date confirmed for Overwatch 2 yet, it’s hard to say whether Blizzard will be specifically targeting the next generation of consoles at launch, but regardless it seems fairly likely that they’ll be looking to cater to as many players as possible.

Blizzard have previously brought older games to new-generation consoles post-launch, with Diablo 3 having originally been released for Xbox 360 and PS3 before coming to Xbox One and PS4 later. More recently, Overwatch itself was released for Nintendo Switch.