Overwatch 2‘s release date has been a heated topic of debate amongst the game’s passionate community. It’s been long assumed, perhaps by an overly-hopeful community desperate for new content, that Overwatch 2 would be released by the end 2021. That was after multiple delays across 2020, global events that impacted development, and then radio silence from Blizzard.
Now, a new leak from a prominent industry insider has lifted the lid on quite possibly the worst news to come out regarding Overwatch in quite some time, and that is that Overwatch 2 definitely won’t be out in 2021. In fact, it won’t even be out in 2022. Such is the delay with the game’s development, that we may not be playing a finished version of Overwatch 2 until 2023.
The development of Overwatch 2 has been a hot topic for quite some time. Upon its initial reveal almost two years, the game appeared to be more of a skin or expansion pack of the original game, prompting some prominent Overwatch players and streamers to criticise the game’s very existence.
Long periods of little to no information raised plenty of eyebrows, before an Overwatch 2 gameplay reveal earlier this year — which lifted the lead on the game’s restructured 5v5 composition — tempered many of the concerns floating around.
Recent revelations to come out of Activision Blizzard, which have led to mass walk-outs and ongoing lawsuits that likely won’t end anytime soon, have prompted questions as to the reasonable expectation of fans for in-development games that don’t currently have a release date. Overwatch 2 firmly falls into that bracket.
Of course, given everything that is happening at Activision Blizzard, it seems quite trivial to be complaining about the release of a game. After all, the health and wellbeing of its actual creators is more important than the game itself.
That said, it still seems quite shocking that a game this big and seemingly as deep into development as Overwatch 2 reportedly was, would be pushed so deep beyond its initial expected release date. At first, 2021 seemed so far away. Now as we move into the second half of the year, 2022 seems reasonable, but even that seems a stretch now for a game that clearly appears to lack an identity.
Warning signs were present when Blizzard announced further updates for Overwatch 2 in the “coming weeks and months”. Nothing has come in the way of a release date. That’s quite damning given the sheer competitiveness of the genre, the dwindling nature of Overwatch‘s community, and the demand for a sequel.
Prominent Overwatch leaker Metro has revealed some not-so-positive news about Overwatch 2‘s release date. Back in October, Metro accurately predicted that Blizzcon would be held “in the first quarter of 2021”, and that we’d see more Overwatch 2. He got both of those right.
What he definitely got wrong was that Overwatch 2 was potentially being primed for an April 2021 launch to coincide with the Overwatch League delay, which had been pushed back a bit at the time.
“[This suggests] that the expected beta or even full release of the game around Blizzcon in February 2021 is very likely.”
That’s not just a little misfire, it’s a big one. But Metro did accurately predict a few things about Blizzcon, and may well have been right about Overwatch 2 before the plug was pulled.
More recently, Metro has taken to Twitter to outline some potential issues with Overwatch 2.
“I’ve heard from multiple people close to my original source with Overwatch 2 that the development is taking longer than expected,” they said.
If you’re an Overwatch player like me, that is quite possibly the worst news possible with regards to the game’s development. As Metro themselves said, if this turns out to be true, it’s very difficult to see how Blizzard could possibly keep the player base engaged unless they substantially boost the content support for the game prior to any 2023 Overwatch 2 release.
“That being said, if it turns out to be true, RIP [Overwatch] no way the game will be alive for another year and a half without major updates.”
Metro’s leak here could well be false, given Blizzard recently said the game’s development team had “reached an important milestone” in its development.
Here’s hoping for an Overwatch 2 release date much sooner than 2023.