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Published: 25/May/2021 6:09 Updated: 25/May/2021 6:37by Brad Norton
Will Blizzard ever introduce crossplay and cross-progression in Overwatch? From early teasers to how it might work in Overwatch 2, here’s everything we know about the potential feature.
When Overwatch launched in 2016, it was made available on PC, PlayStation 4, and the Xbox One. Since then, just one new platform has joined the mix with Blizzard porting the hero shooter to the Nintendo Switch. With four different communities in play and a sequel fast approaching, it’s no surprise crossplay and cross-progression are two of the most highly demanded features.
Despite comments as early as 2019, Blizzard is still yet to confirm the possibility. Below is a full rundown of everything there is to know.
While it was once considered impossible, crossplay is now a popular feature that has reached many of the biggest titles over the past few years. From Fortnite to Call of Duty, various communities have already been able to enjoy the freedoms of crossplay.
Say you have a group of friends to fill out a standard Overwatch team. As it currently stands, all six of you need to be on the same platform to play together. With the addition of crossplay, two of you could be on PC, two on Xbox, and two on the Switch.
Without any barriers, teams from all platforms could efficiently group together and enjoy Overwatch. No additional costs, no hoops to jump through, it could be as simple as just loading into a match.
As for cross-progression, this feature would allow you to maintain a single account across platforms. For Overwatch veterans, five years of experience and cosmetic unlocks could be thrown out the window if you ever have to switch platforms.
If you’ve been a hardcore grinder on PC, you can’t suddenly move to console and expect your account to follow suit. Instead, you have to begin anew, going back to square one.
If cross-progression is ever enabled, this would no longer be a concern. You could maintain one unified account across all platforms. This would allow you to login on any device, play some games, and continue on another down the line.
We’ve now gone half a decade with the original Overwatch and no such systems have ever been implemented. When the Switch version launched in 2019, former director Jeff Kaplan outlined his desire to get it off the ground.
“We would love to have crossplay and cross-progression between the Nintendo Switch and other platforms,” he said almost two years ago. While it never appeared possible in the original release, Kaplan later touched on the potential for these features in Overwatch 2.
So while nothing concrete has been locked in, both crossplay and cross-progression are still on the table for the upcoming sequel, according to more recent comments from the dev team.
“We’re pretty excited about the possibilities of crossplay and cross-progression,” Technical Director John Lafleur commented in a May 24 AMA on Reddit. “Given the additional complexities of cross-progression, it would probably make most sense to tackle crossplay first and then explore progression as a potential add-on, if we go this route.”
Therefore, if Overwatch 2 is to launch with either feature, it sounds like crossplay is first on the list, with cross-progression coming soon after that.