Focus on Overwatch 2 left the original game struggling, Blizzard says

Overwatch 2
(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Blizzard has admitted that shifting gears away from Overwatch to focus entirely on Overwatch 2 might not have been the best course of action.  

In the latest Overwatch 2 Developer Update, game director Aaron Keller admitted that the team had essentially made the wrong decision by fans to all but abandon new content creation for the popular shooter. As a result, the team has a new approach to rolling out updates to Overwatch 2, with "the goal of far exceeding Overwatch's previous rate of content release." 

"A few years ago, we made the call to focus our team's development efforts almost entirely on Overwatch 2," said Keller. "And as development of the sequel stretched on, it meant that the live game received less focus." He explained this meant that the company was no longer delivering on one of its core values: to support the game by updating it and delivering content on a regular basis. 

As a result, there have been few updates to the original game beyond new skins and the reprisal of some seasonal modes. With the wait for Overwatch 2 longer than ever and fans clamoring for news, some obvious changes had to be made. 

With that in mind, the company is shifting to an operational method that enables it to "deliver frequent PvP content to the live game" on a more regular basis. The plan has shifted for Overwatch 2, as the team has worked to decouple the PvP features of the game from the PvE systems so players can try PvP sooner.

As Keller confirmed, live testing of PvP modes will begin this week, with a closed alpha and a new hero available to Blizzard employees aand Overwatch League players. Then, in April, there will be a Overwatch 2 closed beta with signups available on the official website. There will be more to come throughout the rest of the year.

Check out our Overwatch 2 guide for everything we know about Blizzard's new shooter.

Brittany Vincent