The Overwatch cross-play beta is now finally live in a new update, but it's causing a headache for plenty of players.
This week, Overwatch finally initiated cross-play between console and PC platforms, over five years after it originally released in 2016. While this should have been a pretty momentous occassion for Blizzard's online hero shooter, it's now being talked about for another reason entirely.
It turns out the new cross-play update has changed the way players are placed into lobbies and regions. Simply speaking, the update has removed the option to select a region if you're playing solo, and has effectively merged all regions, so now if you're playing Overwatch in the UK for example, you could be automatically placed into a sever in North America.
The update has made it so that anyone playing Overwatch can be placed into any datacentre in the world, no matter how far away they are from it. According to Blizzard technical support, as you can see in the tweets just below, this is to help players find a match during periods of low player counts, but it's resulting in some players registering over 100ms ping, drastically increasing the game's reaction times whenever they move, shoot, or use an ability.
ANYONE from ANY region can be placed onto different servers to help queue times. While yes, it will help queue times, it makes the game horrid to play. 170+ ping to KR server or 120 to EU in ranked is pain. pic.twitter.com/yk54DgrUzHJune 22, 2021
As you can probably imagine, this has caused a pretty significant uproar among the Overwatch community, with players being placed into datacentres on the opposite side of the world. Even Overwatch League personnel are speaking out against the changes made by the game's development team, as seen in the tweet below from OWL analyst and former pro Scott Kennedy.
So.... Am I supposed to get randomly placed into a KR server playing from NA these days?Is this intended with the crossplay or a bug? pic.twitter.com/473Z9JMKTnJune 22, 2021
It's hard to guess where Overwatch goes from here. The changes have obviously been made with good intentions, aiming to reduce queue times for solo players who want to get a quick game in, but it's the unfortunate side effect of taking away the option to pick your region that is really upsetting the game's community. We'll have to wait and see what Blizzard chooses to do in the face of all this feedback.
For everything you need to know about the game's forthcoming sequel, head over to our complete guide on Overwatch 2 for more.