Several weeks ago at Summer Game Fest’s Xbox and Bethesda Showcase, Blizzard revealed that Overwatch 2 would launch into Early Access on October 4 of this year for PC, Xbox Series X/S andOne, PlayStation 5 and 4, and Switch. Yesterday, the company announced that Overwatch 2 will replace Overwatch when it launches, ending the ability to play the seven-year old game. While the sequel will retain old maps and legacy content, it will no longer allow for cross-play between the two games, as was originally intended.
Similar to other free-to-play games like Fortnite and Apex Legends, Overwatch 2 will move to a model structured around nine-week seasons with battle passes and continuous new content. This announcement has been met with some worry by fans, who are concerned it could lead to unbalanced play and other community changes. Another important difference in the sequel is the replacement of teams of six with teams of five, which could also impact the balance of gameplay.
Overwatch’s replacement by its sequel has led some to call for archiving the original game in order to preserve its content. Currently, the only way to acquire the original is from the “Watchpoint Pack” that includes both the original game and access to the sequel’s beta, which launched on June 28.