Overwatch fans were thrilled with the announcement of a sequel at BlizzCon 2019. But they may not be as excited to know that Overwatch 2 is the reason why the shooter’s updates are going to dwindle, according to game director Jeff Kaplan.
Kaplan told Kotaku that Overwatch 2 was “100 percent the reason” why the cycle of updates in the original game came to a slower pace. The development team had to juggle bringing new content to Overwatch while simultaneously building its successor—and, naturally, the sequel received the lion’s share of the attention.
But that doesn’t mean that Overwatch will become a forgotten wasteland. Kaplan said that the game isn’t suffering a “slow death,” but admitted it’s been placed in a “temporary stasis.”
The first victims of this stagnation were seasonal events. The game director recalled having to scrape ideas for this year’s Halloween event because the team was focused on “the other thing.”
The lore-drenched Archives events were another collateral casualty. During a panel at BlizzCon, Kaplan announced that next year’s event will take place without the addition of a new story mission, which will be saved for the sequel—“the better storytelling experience,” as he called it.
Even in a momentary standstill, Overwatch won’t be deprived of content. Players will get the ability to choose what to do when queuing, including a specially-designed deathmatch mode. Seasonal events will still take place and bring new cosmetics, which will also get transferred into Overwatch 2. “There are still some cool updates coming, and we want to add new stuff,” Kaplan said at BlizzCon.
More importantly, it’d be nearly impossible to simply stop creating content for the original game altogether due to its integration with its successor.
Kaplan said that both installments will be updated with new heroes and maps at the same time and that eventually, both clients will converge into each other. Overwatch is also getting an engine overhaul to avoid giving a competitive edge to players running an optimized version of the engine.