With Blizzcon right around the corner many gamers are excited to see what Blizzard has to offer. But if the American games publisher’s financial report is anything to by, we could be waiting a while. The report states that despite making “significant progress,” on these titles they should not be expected in 2021.
Both Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4 were first announced way back at BlizzCon 2019. And yet since updates on either game have been extremely limited. Even worse, the original Overwatch has hardly been touched outside of new skins and a single deathmatch map. If players have to wait over twelve months longer for a sequel then that’s far from ideal.
What is Blizzard thinking?
I’m sure in an ideal world Blizzard could greenlight Overwatch 2 for a 2021 release. However, the simple truth is that the game is most likely nowhere near ready. I doubt either Diablo 4 or Overwatch 2 were even announced when they were supposed to be.
Those with good memories will probably remember the state Blizzard were in leading up to Blizzcon 2019. It had just handed out penalties to several pro players and casters for promoting Taiwanese independence in an official livestream. After the Chinese government pushed it to do something, it resorted to banning everyone involved.
There was an uproar against Blizzard for what many perceived as an abuse of power. Not only that but by making this move it had effectively told the world the CCP were more important than its own community. Hardly a good move from a PR perspective.
Considering this, it likely pushed the announcement of Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2 forward to steady the tide. Many gamers at the time warmed up to Blizzard after the announcements due to the hype of getting to play such anticipated sequels. But over a year later and we’re left wondering if it was the right move after all. Either way, it looks as though we’ll be waiting until 2022 for the next big Blizzard release.
First revealed at Blizzcon 2019, Overwatch 2 was a big deal. But over 13 months later we’ve still heard nothing new from Blizzard. That is until now. In the latest Overwatch developer update video, lead designer Jeff Kaplan confirmed more details are on the way.
In the developer update Kaplan admits its “been too long,” and that his team have been “quiet,” regarding Overwatch 2 news. He explains that COVID has affected development and that there’s still “a ways to go.” But come next February fans will at least finally get some much needed new information.
Overwatch 2 at Blizzcon
Blizzcon 2021 is set to be hosted online next February. Alongside the other Blizzard titles, Overwatch 2 is expected to star as the event’s big announcement. We now know that more details will be coming but exactly what we should expect is still unclear. It could be a beta, another cinematic, or even a release date.
Outside of Overwatch 2 news, this update also confirms that a new map will be arriving on live servers soon. Named Kanezaka, it is based in a small Japanese town on the outskirts of Hanamura. This is likely where the Shimada brothers, Genji and Hanzo, grew up. Unlike Hanamura, Kanezaka is a free for all map that will only be playable in deathmatch game modes.
Supposedly the new map features a ton of easter eggs that could hint at potential future content. Some members of the Overwatch community are already speculating that a new hero called Brit could be in the works. Brit was first seen in concept art for the original game but has reappeared on a billboard in Kanezaka. Given how many new heroes are expected to feature in Overwatch 2, it’s not out of the question.
For the time being, all we can do is wait until Blizzcon. It’s not ideal that we’re having to sit around and pray for some Overwatch 2 news, but it shows that Blizzard care. Neither Kaplan or his team want to rush the long awaited sequel out and release a bad game. In that regard, being patient is still the best thing we can do as fans.