'Overwatch 2' release date won't destroy players' progress, Blizzard says
"No one gets left behind."
If you, like me, are attached to Overwatch skins like Sentai Genji, Witch Mercy, or the Reaper that looks like Sleepy Hollow, you can rest easy about the Overwatch sequel, Overwatch 2. At BlizzCon, director Jeff Kaplan announced that when the Overwatch 2 release date arrives, veteran players will be allowed to keep all their hard-earned loot.
At the opening ceremonies for Blizzard’s annual convention, BlizzCon, taking place in Anaheim, California this weekend, the publisher revealed Overwatch 2, a full-fledged sequel to its smash hit 2016 shooter game Overwatch. A release date was not revealed.
Two trailers came with the announcement: A cinematic trailer, titled “Zero Hour” that stars Winston, Mei, and Tracer fending off an invasion in Paris before reinforcements arrive, and a gameplay trailer that shows off new modes like PvE (player versus environment) and story missions.
More information regarding Overwatch 2, including new characters like Soujourn and Echo, will be revealed at panels throughout the weekend. For now, Kaplan only confirmed that the game will let players keep skins, cosmetics, and progress made in the original Overwatch.
“We thought about it,” Kaplan said on stage at the Anaheim Convention Center. “For us, as gamers, sequels make us nervous more than anything else. So what we’re hoping to do with Overwatch 2 is really redefine what a sequel means. I think some explanation is in order.”
Kaplan confirmed that maps, characters, and other content in Overwatch 2 will be in Overwatch, an effort to ensure “no one gets left behind” from the game’s community of 50 million-plus players. “For all original players of Overwatch, you will get to play on all of the same maps as Overwatch 2 players including all of the brand new maps that are coming to Overwatch 2,” he said. “And you will get to play with all of the same heroes as Overwatch 2 players.
“It will be a shared, multiplayer environment where no one gets left behind.”
Furthermore, and perhaps most crucially to a large number of fans, Kaplan confirmed players will keep their skins from Overwatch into Overwatch 2. “How hard did you work for your Witch Mercy skin?” the director asked rhetorically. “We want to make sure that all Overwatch cosmetics come forward with you in Overwatch 2. So all of your progress matters. Nothing is getting left behind. No one is getting left behind.”
Added Kaplan, “The last thing we would ever do is split what an amazing community you guys are.”
BlizzCon’s official reveal of Overwatch 2, which until now had only been heavily rumored to be in development, was one big thing. Announcing that Overwatch 2 will let fans keep original alternate skins of their favorite characters into the new game, plus get access to Overwatch 2 content in Overwatch, is another nuclear bomb of an announcement.
In other franchises, it is rare for players to keep content across titles; 2017’s Destiny 2 included wiping out players’ digital armories as part of the story. Sequels usually come with players accepting their sunken hours spent trying to achieve a desired item. Especially in a loot box economy, which U.S. lawmakers are debating whether or not fall under the legal definitions of gambling.
But with Overwatch 2, that doesn’t appear to be the case. So you can hold onto your most precious skin for a little while longer. Sentai Genji forever.
Overwatch 2 does not yet have a release date.