Overwatch

Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan confirms major summer schedule changes

by Joe O'Brien

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Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan has teased changes to the typical schedule for new content over the coming summer.

In a recent interview with Overwatch YouTuber Stylosa, Kaplan teased that this summer’s content calendar would not follow previous years.

Blizzard have largely stuck to a consistent schedule for in-game content. While major new features like the Workshop simply appear whenever they’re ready, consistent content like new heroes and events have arrived on a reliable timeline year-by-year.

As a result, by now players can generally predict what they’re getting and when, leaving only the exact details unknown. According to Kaplan, however, that’s set to change for summer 2019.

“It’s going to be a very different summer. Our players like to look back at the calendar and say ‘this is what always happens, and this is when I expect things’. There’s going to be some mix-up this summer in when things land.”

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There are two major content releases expected for the coming summer, according to the typical schedule. The next hero, number 31, is due to be released, and the annual Summer Games in-game event is expected to take place.

Kaplan didn’t explicitly state which of these might be affected by the change. According to the previous schedule, the new hero is expected to be revealed in late June or early July, with a release by the end of July. Meanwhile, Summer Games should start at the beginning of August.

It’s not clear at this point whether the changes are merely a matter of scheduling, or if there will be brand-new content added in that players aren’t expecting. It certainly seems plausible that the latter could be the case, as the addition of new content would appear to explain an updated release schedule.

Overwatch has had a consistent schedule of events in recent years, with six different events each taking place at roughly the same time each year. Blizzard hasn’t introduced a new event since the first iterations of these in the game’s first year, and the content offered by each has remained largely consistent.

In 2018, Blizzard stated that players should not expect major new event content as they were instead focusing on developing more major game features. With the release of the Workshop and the Replays system, it seems some of those are now coming to fruition, however, and so perhaps this is the time that the developers will begin to make major changes to events, or even add entirely new events.