Blizzard officially announced the Overwatch franchise’s long-planned sequel at BlizzCon in November 2019, and since then have been trickling out details on the Overwatch 2 release date, heroes, modes, and more. Here’s a look at everything we know about the 2020 title so far.
The hero-based FPS franchise’s sequel was first announced 10 months ago at the last full BlizzCon event. We already know that it’s going to be primarily single-player focused, finally bringing campaigns and quests to Overwatch.
Overwatch 2 will also offer up a “revamp” for the title’s multiplayer mode, which will stay the same on the original game too. Here’s everything we’ve collected on Blizzard’s 2020 release, from a potential release date, to game modes, and more.
Overwatch 2 release date
Little has been locked in on the Overwatch 2 release date so far. Blizzard devs have zipped their lips and thrown away the key, it seems. That doesn’t mean there haven’t been a few leaks pointing to potential calendar dates.
Blizzard vice-president Jeff Kaplan admitted back at BlizzCon 2019 the developers “don’t have a date in mind” for the sequel yet.
The one solid clue we do have so far came from PlayStation Brazil’s official Twitter account. In a now-deleted tweet, the account suggested Overwatch’s sequel would be “coming to PlayStation 4” in 2020, though they didn’t mention a specific month.
The Overwatch sequel is likely to go through a small closed beta period for the single-player aspects of the game. The original release had a six-month beta, but Overwatch 2 shouldn’t need that long to get up to scratch this time.
We previously eyeballed December, 2020 as a potential Overwatch 2 release date. That would have lined up perfectly with the next-gen console releases in the holiday season, and give OW2 a solid Christmas sales boost, too. However, no release date has been announced as of November 2020, and so this is very unlikely.
Surveys for Overwatch 2
Back in August 2020, Blizzard caused ripples when a survey was found traveling around the internet, asking questions about preferences players would like to see in regards to the release. OverwatchNaeri shared some screenshots of the survey, here written in German:
Overwatch 2 New Customizable Legendary Skins Leak?
Overwatch 2 german survey leaked. The survey describes a variety of exclusive content and features for the base game. In addition, XP Boosts, Sprays, Highlight Intros and Customizable Legendary Skins were revealed in the survey. pic.twitter.com/si5zHrfyVr
— Naeri X 나에리 (@OverwatchNaeri) August 26, 2020
Overwatch 2 game modes
The main features for Overwatch 2 will be its story-based single-player offerings. These PvE modes will fill a void many fans feel the franchise never truly filled since its mid-2010s debut.
What the Overwatch 2 storyline may remain to be seen, for now. We’ve been given a little sneak-peek in the “Recall” trailer from last year though. That teaser promised Overwatch will again come up against waves of Omnics.
That also lines up with new plans the Overwatch developers revealed recently regarding the sequel maps. Blizzard said they were aiming for “longer missions, involving more foes” in a set of new missions similar to Valve’s Left 4 Dead 2.
“Adding enemy types [like L4D2’s zombie classes] leads to complex ability interactions between enemies and heroes, and also between the enemies themselves,” the devs revealed.
“There will be both short-range and long-range units that coordinate attacks.”
Overwatch 2 will also introduce a new “talents” progression system at launch. Players will be able to upgrade each hero’s abilities and power as they adventure through “highly replayable” co-op missions in the sequel, Blizzard has said.
Finally, the sequel is expected to add a new “Push” game mode for the multiplayer side of the hero-based shooter. The new playlist seems to be a type of reverse tug-of-war, or a two-way version of Overwatch’s iconic Payload mode.
Overwatch 2 crossplay & cross-progression
Blizzard is “exploring” Overwatch 2 crossplay ahead of the sequel’s release date, Kaplan has confirmed, with plans to link players on Xbox, PlayStation, PC, and more for most multiplayer matches after launch.
“[Crossplay] is something we’re passionate about, and currently in the process of exploring,” the Blizzard guru admitted during a recent Overwatch roundtable on Reddit on July 31.
“We [also] really like the idea of cross-persistence,” Kaplan wrote after the crossplay answer. “It’s something we would love to see for Overwatch… we are very passionate about trying to make something like this happen someday.”
On September 9, 2020, Blizzard announced their first online event Con event. Due to the ongoing pandemic, they will use this platform to share further information about their titles. As a bonus, it’ll be free for people to watch and engage with, something that is not usually the cast with previous BlizzCon iterations.
Because of this, it could be likely that any further information Blizzard has to share with the public about the release of Overwatch 2 will be kept until the dates of February 19-20 2021, during the event itself.
Because of this, it is likely that any further information we receive prior to that will be through leakers.
Overwatch League and Overwatch 2
YouTuber Stylosa mentions in their video about leaks and information regarding Overwatch 2, that they believe it could be possible Overwatch League will launch before Overwatch 2 as a way to inject some much-needed life back into the competition. This could see the event possibly happening in 2021, with a release of Overwatch 2 following thereafter.
As well as Stylosa, Twitter user Metro stated that rumors regarding an Overwatch League delay until April 2021 is to make sure Overwatch 2 can launch the beta or full game around the time of BlizzConline in February.
For now, these are all but rumors, but it’s incredibly exciting regardless.
Overwatch 2 release news! 🤠
Rumors of the next OWL season being delayed until April to make sure they can launch with OW2 suggest that the expected beta or even full release of the game around Blizzcon in February 2021 is very likely!
— Metro (@Metro_OW) October 18, 2020
Is Overwatch going free to play?
Blizzard has not yet confirmed if Overwatch 2 will be free-to-play at launch, or if it will carry at least some kind of retail cost. All multiplayer features will be added to the original Overwatch title free of charge, of course.
Recent Overwatch rumors have also pointed to the potential for the entire franchise to move to a free-to-play model in the sequel’s release. This swap was originally set to be announced at BlizzCon, but was pushed back, leakers said.
Exactly what the cost of the sequel will remain to be seen. In the UK, GAME is listing a pre-order price of £54.99 – the typical full price for a new triple-A title – though it’s possible at this stage that is simply a placeholder cost.
Will sequel be on next-gen consoles?
Blizzard will likely release Overwatch 2 on the next generation of consoles. That includes the new PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X when they arrive in the 2020 holiday season later this year.
Blizzard have previously brought older games to new console generations post-launch. It is likely they will do the same again in 2020 or 2021. Diablo 3 was the latest Blizzard title that landed on two generations all the way back in 2013.
It’s looking quite likely Overwatch 2 will arrive across a multitude of platforms. If it misses its teased December 2020 release date too, there’s no reason not to have it arrive on the PS5 or XSX, considering they will be on the market by 2021.
So, there you have it; everything we know about Overwatch 2. Dexerto will strive to keep you updated on everything regarding the highly-anticipated sequel. Stay up to date by following Dexerto’s Overwatch Facebook page, Overwatch Cavalry.