Jeff Kaplan has explained why new-release DPS hero Echo will be the last character added to Overwatch’s roster for the foreseeable future, as Blizzard turns its focus to development on the FPS title’s long-awaited sequel.
This may be the last time players get to experience the hype of a new hero release though. Blizzard developers have confirmed Echo will be the last release in Overwatch. At least, the last to appear in the franchise “for now,” Kaplan said.
Echo is currently on Overwatch’s PTR servers for testing after being revealed last week.
Overwatch 2 development nips new heroes in the bud
According to Kaplan, the processes surrounding upcoming sequel Overwatch 2 have meant the first Overwatch release is being shelved design-wise. With story modes, new characters, and more coming in OW2, it’s all hands on deck.
“I don’t think we’ll see more heroes for Overwatch. We’re heavily focused on Overwatch 2 at this point” Kaplan admitted in a video with Stylosa after Echo was released. He did, however, add there were more heroes “on their way” eventually.
“We know how much people love new heroes. We’re making new heroes for Overwatch 2. There is development happening, but we don’t want people’s expectations in the wrong place — for now, we will not be getting another Overwatch hero,” Blizzard’s vice president confirmed.
Overwatch’s thirty-second hero Echo will last in history as the first game’s final character release.
New tanks & supports will be released in OW2
Kaplan added to this line of thinking in an interview with French media too. The famous dev figurehead added “the sooner OW2 is out, the better.” This means all ongoing Overwatch 1 developments, including heroes, were shelved.
This was confirmed by lead character artist Renaud Galand. He revealed in an interview with French streamer Alphacast the dev team “wanted to release another hero before OW2,” but now it looks like it “probably won’t happen.”
That’s not to say there won’t be more heroes on the horizon, of course. Anything added to the upcoming sequel will also land in the base game too, Blizzard has previously confirmed. This will include new heroes, maps, and balance changes.
Kaplan also revealed Blizzard does have more tank and support heroes on the way post-OW2, now Echo has been released: “We have multiple tanks and supports in development. We know that more tanks and supports are needed.”
For mobile readers, the related segment begins at 3:33 in the video below.
How long it will be before we see those new characters — more than half a dozen, according to Kaplan — still remains a major mystery though.
According to leaks, Overwatch 2 is expected to arrive on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC this year. This does line up with Galand’s suggestion we’d see the new heroes in Autumn. There has still been no official release date penned in just yet.
During this pulse-pounding in-game event, expand your collection with spooky new cosmetics and experience new twists in the chilling tale of Junkenstein’s Revenge, our limited-time PvE brawl. Get ready for a shock with Junkenstein’s Revenge Challenges, diabolical twists on Dr. Junkenstein’s sordid plans. Two will become available each week, totaling six in all. Plus, overcome weekly challenges with wins in Quick Play, Competitive Play, or Arcade to earn a series of unique rewards!
Throughout the event, unlock new seasonal items—including legendary skins like Flying Dutchman Sigma, Karasu-Tengu Genji, and Werewolf Winston—to add to our growing collection from previous years.
Feature Update: Improved Profanity Filter
We are making changes to how the Profanity Filter works to give players more control over the types of words they see. Instead of a simple On/Off Profanity Filter, there are now three levels of profanity filtering provided.
FRIENDLY – We’ll do our best to filter all words currently identified by our constantly-updated list as obscene, vulgar, or offensive. This is the most family-friendly setting.
MATURE – You may see some obscene or vulgar words with this setting, but we will filter language identified as extremely offensive.
UNFILTERED – Nothing will be filtered. Please be aware that you may see extremely offensive language. This setting is not recommended.
Along with the new three levels of filtering, we now will allow players to have different profanity filter settings for each communication channel. These channels include:
As an example, you could use the stronger FRIENDLY profanity filter option for more public channels such as GENERAL CHAT or MATCH CHAT, but use the MATURE option for the more private PARTY CHAT.
PLEASE NOTE: Using Any of the profanity filters doesn’t make it okay for players to use offensive language, and we encourage you to report these examples if you encounter them.
See Blizzard Entertainment’s In-Game-Code of Conduct for more information on acceptable behavior. Using language reported by the community and deemed offensive by Blizzard will result in severe account restrictions.
Feature Update: Elevator Adjustments
Elevators will now wait at the bottom of their track until a player boards the platform. After a short delay, the platform rises rapidly upward. Once the elevator reaches the top, it pauses briefly before returning to the bottom.
Developer Comments: We’ve received quite a bit of feedback about the unreliability of the looping elevators in Hollywood and Volskaya Industries. In an effort to improve that experience, we have re-designed the elevators in both maps so that they no longer endlessly loop. We hope that this change will make elevators a quicker and more reliable form of vertical transportation, while granting nearby players fair warning that the elevator is in use through updated sound effects.
Competitive Team Deathmatch
Season 3 of Competitive Team Deathmatch has begun!
Added a voice line stating, “For the Crusaders!”, that allies will hear when Reinhardt uses Earthshatter
Heavy Pulse Rifle
Bullet spread removed
Constant recoil added
Bullet damage reduced from 20 to 19
Ammo increased from 25 to 30
Improved smoothness of Sombra’s First Person camera when Translocating short distances to a Translocator that is in view
Grapple will now bounce off a surface if the distance between you and the hook is under 2 meters, canceling the hook and not costing any cooldown
Fixed a bug that caused highlights saved from Experimental games to not load properly
Fixed a bug that caused heroes to load slowly when switching heroes from the Hero Select screen
Fixed a bug with skill ratings not appearing in the Career Profile for Competitive Arcade seasons
Fixed a bug with the “All Seasons” option not appearing within the Career Profile menu
Fixed a bug that caused Baptiste’s eyes to not blink during his idle animation
Fixed a bug that caused the spray menu to display “Empty” in the top slot while a spray is equipped
Fixed a bug that displayed the Korean flag incorrectly on the Taegeukgi skin
Fixed a bug with Echo’s Duplicate voice lines not playing in the correct language
Fixed a bug that caused Lúcio’s legs to unintentionally extend when landing on uneven terrain
Fixed a bug with the Lifeguard skin model not displaying properly on low texture quality settings
Fixed a bug that caused Pharah’s eyes to not animate properly when equipping the Lifeguard skin
Fixed a bug that caused Reaper’s shotgun pattern to still be affected by random rotation
Fixed a bug that prevented “Storm, Earth and Fire” achievement from triggering
Fixed a bug that caused beam hit effects to display incorrectly on barriers
Fixed an issue with the Door Health Scalar custom games setting for Junkenstein
Fixed an issue with the Difficulty custom games setting for Junkenstein
Fixed a bug with Ashe’s Dynamite in hand to not scale to the size of the projectile
Fixed a bug with Brigitte’s Whip Shot not displaying properly when triggered rapidly without a cooldown
Fixed a bug that caused Reinhardt’s Earthshatter to not consistently hit targets when model scale is increased
Fixed a bug where Ashe’s B.O.B. would not smoothly scale up/down with Ashe
Fixed a bug where Call Mech placed the location of the new mech incorrectly at varying scales