Overwatch 2 (opens in new tab) will share many of its features, including all maps, heroes, and PvP modes with its predecessor, making it possible for players of the original game to join Overwatch 2 players in online PvP matches. It's certainly an unconventional way to develop a sequel, and a decision Overwatch 2 game director Jeff Kaplan says was "very challenging" to pitch to Blizzard.
Speaking with Kotaku Australia (opens in new tab), Kaplan explains the reasoning behind making Overwatch 1 and 2 exist in one shared world. "The way that I try to convince people, I try to tell them if we do what's right by the players, they will be happy, we will have a better game, and we will end up in a better place in the long run. Rather than having this short sighted thinking that's usually driven by anxiety of 'the only way to get players to play Overwatch 2 is to cut off all the Overwatch 1 players and starve them out and force them to come over and make that game just sort of die on the vine," Kaplan said. "That in my opinion is not the right way."
It's sure to be a relief to budget-minded Overwatch fans that they needn't shell-out for a full-priced sequel if they already own the first game. In terms of whether that's a winning business model, Kaplan says studios do better when they focus on keeping the player-base happy for the long-game. It's hard to argue against the point too, as we watch major releases like Ghost Recon Breakpoint (opens in new tab) and Fallout 76 (opens in new tab) fall out of the public's favor over paid features like microtransactions and subscriptions.
Whether you're an early adopter or you're waiting for Overwatch 2, check out our Overwatch character guide (opens in new tab) to help you find your spirit hero.