Overwatch 2 release date: Jeff Kaplan explains why Blizzard has "no idea" - Dexerto
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Overwatch 2 release date: Jeff Kaplan explains why Blizzard has “no idea”

Published: 3/Nov/2019 15:28 Updated: 3/Nov/2019 16:55

by Andy Williams

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Following the reveal of Overwatch 2 at BlizzCon 2019, fans are chomping at the bit to get their hands on the sequel. However, Blizzard has revealed that they have “don’t know” about an official release date.

Blizzard has teased an abundance of new content coming to Overwatch 2, which they hope will revitalize the franchise. From a brand new, competitive game mode to adding to the existing roster of heroes, the developers have taken no shortcuts in ensuring that the sequel ticks all of the boxes for their faithful following. 

However, while debuting the game to the masses at BlizzCon 2019, Blizzard Vice President, Jeff Kaplan, reminded fans that the game is still in the early stages of development and that everything being showcased over the course of the weekend is subject to change.

BlizzardOverwatch 2 will bring new maps, new heroes and a PvE mode.

During a panel that addressed many burning questions, Kaplan revealed that fans eager to get stuck into Overwatch 2 will have to wait longer than perhaps anticipated. 

Blizzard’s VP addressed the question on the tip of everyone’s tongue, the release date, by stating: “I have no idea. Like, just let us make it great… We don’t have a date in mind.”

Reveal presentation starts at 2:50.

“Like I mentioned, Overwatch 2 is still in development, and we have a long ways to go before this game is fully ready,” Kaplan explains.

Moreover, he went on to discuss the progression system: “So we’re only showing you a part of the progression system right now and it’s also likely that progression could change a lot by the time that the game is released.”

Alongside discussing the release date, it was confirmed that Overwatch 2 is set to be launched on PC, Xbox and PlayStation. 

Before the curtains were drawn, it was confirmed that the team behind Overwatch 2 would “go dark” after BlizzCon to work on the feedback gained from those that sampled the alpha at the convention. 

Given the praise that Overwatch 2 has received thus far, fans will be keen to hear more as the game edges closer to its release. 

H/T: Comicbook

Business

Activision in talks to reduce fees owed by CDL & Overwatch League teams

Published: 2/Dec/2020 22:14 Updated: 2/Dec/2020 22:35

by Theo Salaun

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Recent reports from The Esports Observer indicate that Activision Blizzard are in the midst of discussions to possibly reduce the amount the amount owed by Overwatch League and Call of Duty League franchises as part of their entry fees.

With all OWL and CDL plans derailed over the past year, Activision are reportedly trying to rework the hefty investments that organizations have made into their franchising opportunities. When the massive game development company pitched both leagues, neither was expected to be profitable in the short-term, but projections have taken an even greater hit due to current global restrictions.

A groundbreaking esports concept centered around the city-based model that is used in traditional sports, Activision required $20 million entry fees for the OWL’s first 12 teams and then fees in the range between $30 to $60 million for its next eight. For the CDL’s inaugural season, 12 teams needed to put up at least $25 million apiece, even more for cities that were in high-demand.

Now that the plans for local events have understandably shifted, neither league is expanding for their next season and ownership groups in both are looking for ways to save cash. As reported by The Esports Observer’s Adam Stern, this has engendered cost-cutting discussions with Activision’s latest new senior executive hire, Tony Petitti.

overwatch league 2020 event crowd
Ben Pursell For Blizzard Entertainment
One of the many avid crowds at Overwatch League events.

Petitti, formerly Major League Baseball’s deputy commissioner, was hired by Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick to a senior role involved with both of their leagues as the President of Sports and Entertainment. He joins Johanna Faries, a former National Football League executive, who brings a traditional sports perspective as the commissioner for both the CDL and OWL.

Given their experience with city-based sports leagues, Activision is likely aware of the profitability challenges that their current esport and sport investment groups are facing. As such, it should be no surprise that they are willing to have conversations about concessions that can make current projections fit closer to the original expectations.

As Stern reports, those discussions have included discounting some of the original entry fees: “one idea that is being weighed is reducing the amount of money they owe to the video game maker.” 

Call of Duty League LAN
Call of Duty League
Following in the OWL’s footsteps, the CDL also had huge enthusiasm for live events.

With Immortals Gaming Club selling their Los Angeles Call of Duty franchise to 100 Thieves and reportedly being interested in selling their OWL spot as well, many are wondering if franchise valuations have shifted.

Fortunately, it appears that the profitability projections have remained somewhat consistent despite current predicaments. As reported by Forbes’ Christina Settimi, 100 Thieves COO John Robinson would not set an exact figure on their LA Thieves purchase, but suggested that “franchise values have held up.”

Activision would likely want to avoid an exodus of owners, so these discussions to cut costs and protect brand health are reportedly ongoing.