- Blizzard officially shuts down all of Overwatch 1’s servers
- The game’s sequel will completely replace it starting from October 4
- Blizzard hopes to bring new life to the franchise with Overwatch 2’s many new features
Overwatch’s servers have been officially shut down in preparation for the release of the game’s much-anticipated sequel.
It’s Time for Overwatch 2
For years, fans have been requesting Blizzard make more content for the popular hero-based shooter Overwatch, or release a sequel. That moment has finally come as Overwatch 2 is going live on October 4. But to do this, Blizzard had to temporarily disable the original game’s servers, as Overwatch 2 will completely replace the game’s first iteration.
“We’ve taken the Overwatch servers offline temporarily as we prepare to launch Overwatch 2, servers should begin to come back online on Oct. 2, 2022, at 12pm PT,” read a message on the Battle.net launcher. Players who were still in the game when Overwatch 1’s plug was pulled were met with a “lost connection to game server” message. This signified the official death of the game which is now going to be fully replaced by its successor.
What Can Players Expect?
“A new era has begun,” reads Blizzard’s official post about the change. “In Overwatch 2, there’s always something new to experience. Updates will be released on a regular nine-week schedule, giving you more to experience and earn than ever before. Rush into the fray as the mischievous Kiriko, and unlock over 80 new cosmetics in Season 1.”
Although still in early access, Overwatch 2 already comes with several new features and characters. As the statement above reads, Blizzard has added the new support hero Kiriko, which will be available immediately to battle pass owners at the launch of the game.
Overwatch 2 also comes with significant gameplay changes. The game will now be moving to a 5v5 format and will also have new game modes, such as Push. In it, teams will play on a symmetrical map and aim to take control of a robot that begins in a central location, then push it toward the enemy base.
Blizzard is also changing a lot of non-gameplay things, such as the chat reporting system. The company is making a stance against toxicity and is implementing a new “Defense Matrix Strategy” that aims to diminish toxic behavior in voice chats. This will involve automated algorithms that record and transcribe voice logs that are later scanned for unwanted behavior. Perhaps the most significant change to the game is that Overwatch 2 will now be free-to-play. Although the shutting down of Overwatch 2’s servers is a “bittersweet moment”, as Forbs’ Kris Holt puts it, Blizzard hopes that this approach, alongside the other changes it has implemented, will revive the struggling Overwatch franchise.