BlizzCon is happening in November, and many signs point towards an Overwatch sequel or spin-off being announced alongside new additions to the current game.
Overwatch was first announced at BlizzCon 2014, and released in 2016. In the game’s first three years, there have been nine new core maps, 10 new heroes, a series of smaller ‘arena’ maps, role-queue, and a few ‘events’ featuring exclusive skins and cosmetics.
One of these yearly events originally titled “Uprising” but later changed to “Archives” features story-driven PvE co-op missions which serve to add additional lore to the game.
Since Overwatch’s release there has been very little progressing the game’s lore forwards, with much of “new” information being related to the past. For instance, the Archives missions take place prior to the animated ‘Recall’ short.
Overwatch 2 could be where the Blizzard developers move the game forward. According to a June 6 Kotaku article, unnamed staff from inside Blizzard confirmed that a StarCraft shooter was canceled so teams could focus more on Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2.
Sources told Kotaku that “Overwatch 2” or whatever it ends up being called will “have a large PvE element”. Notably, the site adds that people at Blizzard have compared the title to Left 4 Dead – a zombie-based co-op shooter game made by Valve.
The Archives missions show that PvE can be quite fun in Overwatch, so it would make sense for a whole game to be built around that concept.
This also lines up with job listings on the Blizzard website. As we previously reported back on August 22, a job listing for a “Senior Games Writer” asks for a candidate who has “demonstrated success as an experienced game developer with strong creative writing experience, excellent collaboration skills, and a real passion for Overwatch.”
The role’s responsibilities were listed as: “Quickly write and iterate on compelling dialogue for characters, missions, and cinematics.”
What do industry analysts think?
Jeff Cohen, a research analyst at Stephens Inc expects an Overwatch sequel or expansion in 2020.
“They did a good job of framing 2019 as a transition year and sort of the bottom in terms of the content cycle. We’re expecting a lot more coming in 2020,” Cohen told CNBC in September when Blizzard’s stock rose 7.9 percent following the release of WoW Classic and the announcement of a Switch port of Overwatch.
Cohen said the Switch port (due for an October 15 release) would give Blizzard an opportunity “to basically sell a second copy to people who already have the game.”
With Blizzard hyping Overwatch on the Switch it’s likely the new game could also be coming to Nintendo’s console along with other versions.
Will Overwatch 2 be on next-gen consoles?
With Sony announcing the PlayStation 5 will be available holiday 2020, it’s likely that Overwatch could make its way to the new PlayStation and Xbox along with the PS4 and Xbox One.
This would be similar to what Blizzard did with Diablo 3. The game was released on PC, Xbox 360, and PS3 and then made its way to the Xbox One and PS4. Eventually, the game was ported to the Nintendo Switch too.
It’s also possible a mobile Overwatch game is revealed. At BlizzCon 2018, Executive Producer Allen Adham said the company was working on mobile titles for all of their IPs.
BlizzCon 2019 begins Friday, November 1 at the Anaheim Convention Center.