One of the most interesting aspects of the upcoming Overwatch 2, the recently announced sequel to the wildly popular Overwatch video game by Blizzard Entertainment, is that it is set to feature cross-compatibility with the original game. In terms of player-versus-player content, both Overwatch and Overwatch 2 folks will be in the same pool and share the same characters, maps, and so on. This unusual approach to a video game sequel apparently took some serious convincing on the part of folks at the developer.
"It's very challenging," Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan told Kotaku Australia after being asked about the difficulty of pitching the two games playing together during a recent interview at BlizzCon 2019, "because the industry has done things the same way for so long. And so it's hard to get people, push them out of their comfort zone and say, hey I think we could do it a better way."
According to Kotaku Australia, Kaplan said that he argued that it would be better in the long run for the players to have the player-versus-player elements shared. There's still the player-versus-environment aspect of Overwatch 2 that is unique to the sequel game, after all. Splitting the users across two games might make sense from a short-term financial standpoint, but that only goes so far.
"The way that I try convince people, I try to tell them if we do what's right by the players, they will be happy, we we will have a better game, and we will end up in a better place in the long run," Kaplan added. "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, you know, make that game just sort of die on the vine.'"
"That in my opinion is not the right way," he continued. "I always try to come at things from a player-first standpoint. What do I want as a player? And I'm really lucky I work with a lot of awesome people who are willing to take big risks, and look at things differently and go, hey we can really influence this to be different."
What do you think of what we've seen of Overwatch 2 so far? Are you excited to check out what the sequel has to offer, or will you be sticking with whatever manages to come to the original? Let us know in the comments, or hit me up directly on Twitter at @rollinbishop to talk all things gaming!
Overwatch 2 is currently in development for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. It's unclear exactly when it might release. You can check out all of our previous coverage of the upcoming sequel right here.