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Why We're Seriously Worried About Overwatch 2

"Overwatch 2" is finally here, but at what cost? The game isn't quite out yet, but the beta is available and already implemented in the current season of the Overwatch League. Twitch drops started at 10:00 a.m. PT on April 27, 2022, leading to the highest concurrent viewer count ever seen for "Overwatch." That would mean good news, right?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. Fans were hyped for the Twitch drops (a.k.a. beta keys), but many viewers fell off the map after they got what they wanted. Even worse, many of these "Overwatch 2" testers weren't impressed with the game itself. The fallout from the beta then sparked a discussion about the future of "Overwatch 2" and whether it's as disastrous as fans make it seem or if the complaints are rooted in reality. 

Fans of Activision Blizzard's flagship hero shooter are skeptical of its success because of a long string of letdowns related to the developer and its sequel. Here's why we're worried about "Overwatch 2."

It's too similar to Overwatch

"Overwatch 2" differs from the first game because it shifts to 5v5 and adds features (such as heroes and modes) that weren't present in the original. There's also the additional PvE content that was supposed to convince players to buy. However, fans have been bashing the game ever since content creators minimized it to "Overwatch 1.5." Some fans complained that the game could have just been a patch instead of a multi-year endeavor. 

Many of the heroes in "Overwatch 2" are the same, except for a key few who dramatically differ. Mei can't freeze, Orisa can't shield, and many others have lost abilities that defined them in the original meta. 5v5 also noticeably shifts team comps so that players have to sacrifice positions that were once the standard. For example, fans have to say goodbye to double tank. Many of the maps remain the same and queues stand as an issue, which also soured some impressions.

Jeff Kaplan left the company

Jeff Kaplan, one of the founding fathers of "Overwatch," left the company in 2021. Kaplan was the face of "Overwatch" developer updates and interacted well with fans, leading to his reputation as one of the most beloved figures in the community. Blizzard announced his departure in the middle of "Overwatch 2" development, which left many questions about what his exit could mean for the game. Kaplan didn't state his exact reasons for leaving when he did in April 2021. However, he did leave a statement after serving 19 years at the company.

"It was truly the honor of a lifetime to have the opportunity to create worlds and heroes for such a passionate audience," he wrote in his goodbye. "I want to express my deep appreciation to everyone at Blizzard who supported our games, our game teams and our players. But I want to say a special thanks to the wonderful game developers that shared in the journey of creation with me."

His reasons for leaving are still unknown, but one thing's for sure: The game won't be the same without him. His then-assistant game director Aaron Keller has since taken charge.

Blizzard is in deep legal trouble

Activision Blizzard faced serious allegations after the California Department of Housing filed a lawsuit about toxic work culture. The lawsuit detailed instances of sexual harassment and abuse. CEO Bobby Kotick proceeded to deny the claims. Then, he came under fire after the WSJ published a damning report that claimed Kotick not only know about the instances of harassment but tried to cover them up. From there, the company lost many of its partnerships and support. Lawsuits piled up and leadership shifted in inconvenient ways. Eventually, the company announced it was further delaying "Overwatch 2" and "Diablo 4."

Microsoft then made moves to purchase Activision Blizzard. Shareholders backed Kotick despite the backlash, so he hasn't left the company despite multiple calls for him to resign. It's unclear who will lead Activision Blizzard after Microsoft's purchase is finalized, but many hope Kotick leaves without as much of a payday as expected.

Role queue is still a problem

Role queue is still a controversial part of "Overwatch." Role queue implements separate waitlists for DPS (Damage), Tank, and Support characters. All teams are locked into compositions of two DPS, two Tank, and two Support, and the game won't start until all these roles are filled. DPS queues are often backed up because of the number of people who want to play as that type of character. Fans note that role queue does some good, but wait times are too long for comfort. 

Open queue capitalized on allowing players to join faster at the cost of wilder team compositions. It used to be the norm before role queue became the standard. Open queue isn't activated in the beta, which is part of the problem. Many testers reported waiting over 10 minutes to get into a game. There's a fast pass, but it only expedites the wait by a couple of minutes. As seen in Videogamedunkey's video, it shortened his wait from 8 minutes to 5.

If role queue is here to stay, it could mean backed-up lines at the start of what's supposed to be a fresh new game. 

It's taking forever to finish

Activision Blizzard announced "Overwatch 2" at Blizzcon 2019, and it's only reached its beta stage now. Understandably, some fans are asking: Why is it taking so long?

"Overwatch 2" is supposed to rework the foundation of the game through its characters, even if it looks really similar to the original in terms of its visuals. Geoff Goodman, the lead designer behind the "Overwatch" sequel, revealed that these reworks were more complicated than we thought in an interview with USA Today. He explains that most of the delays are related to how slow it is to get changes approved because of the money involved. In fact, the whole team was "kind of upset and annoyed" with these delays themselves. 

"Blizzard is not really a studio that is shackled to dates but that doesn't mean we're completely free from all concerns of production costs and time," Goodman said. Either way, it isn't going to make "Overwatch 2" come any faster.

"Overwatch 2" is currently in development for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. It doesn't have a release date yet, but many outlets estimate that it'll release sometime in 2023.