Activision Blizzard Gives Details for Overwatch 2 Game Release
Activision Blizzard Inc. said the sequel to its hit video game Overwatch will be released in two separate segments, pushing part of the game into next year.
The free, multiplayer, competitive mode of Overwatch 2 will come out Oct. 4 and the story mode will be released sometime in 2023, Activision said at a press event on Thursday.
Overwatch, which was first released in 2016, sold 50 million copies by 2020 based on its winning combination of satisfying shooter mechanics and lovable characters. Overwatch 2’s competitive multiplayer mode hews closely to its predecessor and acts as more of an expansion to the original than a separate game itself. Fans who have played an early version of Overwatch 2’s multiplayer competitive mode criticized its similarity to the original.
The game’s story mode is Activision Blizzard’s major addition to the franchise. Next year, players will be able to experience Overwatch’s charismatic characters and their back stories as part of player-versus-the environment battles. It’s unclear whether that mode will cost extra money.
“Through the years, we’ve developed cinematics, animated shorts and graphic novels for our players who just want to get deeper into the lore,” said Overwatch 2 game director Aaron Keller. With the player-versus-environment mode, “we have an opportunity to go a step further, to go deeper into diverse storytelling in ways that we just really haven’t been able to before.”
Activision Blizzard also announced that Overwatch 2 won’t include loot boxes--a controversial monetization tool that critics and officials have compared to gambling. Instead, the game will make money in part through a mechanism popularized through Epic Games Inc.’s Fortnite. known as battle passes, the model rewards players with extra content through a tiered system of free and premium passes.