When is the Overwatch 2 release date?
Good news heroes: We’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Overwatch 2 has had a rough development process, but after a long stretch of silence, players of Blizzard’s team shooter are getting some intriguing news about the sequel — which can help us speculate about the Overwatch 2 release date.
An update from Game Director Aaron Keller in March acknowledged that the team has been quiet in terms of news, and he promised more communication from the developers in the coming months. But the most intriguing news is that the PVP beta will be kicking off in April, and we may see a PVP mode launch before the PVE mode.
We’ll be keeping this article up-to-date with the latest information as it becomes available. Here’s where things currently stand for Overwatch 2’s release timetable.
Overwatch 2 PVP is going solo
The big news in terms of projecting a release date for Overwatch 2 is that the sequel may in fact have two launches. The PVP gameplay will be separated from the PVE experience. This “decoupling” means that the PVP sections are progressing into alpha and beta testing phases sooner, and will be arriving ahead of the sweeping new PVE gameplay promised in the sequel.
Keller said that closed alpha testing for the Overwatch 2 PVP began on March 10. This phase will be limited in scope, mostly including Blizzard employees and pros from the Overwatch League. There will be a closed PVP beta beginning in late April, but any interested players in the participating regions can request a beta invitation.
This news does line up with some of the information we’d pieced together over the past year about Overwatch 2‘s timeline. The upcoming Overwatch League season will be played on a build of the new game, so it makes sense that the teams are participating in the closed alpha to figure out their approaches to the extensive changes, including the 5v5 team composition, the new maps, the new Push game mode, and several reworked heroes.
So when is the Overwatch 2 release date?
I think it’s very likely that the move to split PVP and PVE into separate launches will mean that Blizzard gets at least one part of Overwatch 2 to players in the fall. September 2022 is my guess for when the team-based gameplay will be finished and make its official debut to the community.
That’s the exciting part. The less exciting part is that I’m guessing the PVE experience won’t be arriving until much later.
Which makes sense. Blizzard has essentially decided to put two games under one title. Plenty of shooters offer single-player and multi-player modes, but the scope of Overwatch 2‘s PVE is more ambitious and complicated than what you’ll find in a Call of Duty or a Battlefield. If they need more time to figure out how to make the PVE balanced, consistent, and (most importantly) fun, then I’m glad they’re taking that time. I’m thinking it could take them as much as an entire year to have the PVE components ready for release, so my prediction is that the rest of the Overwatch 2 gameplay will release in September 2023.
Zenyatta says that “a warrior’s greatest weapon is patience.” We’ll have to carry that mindset with us for awhile longer, particularly for PVE mode.
Originally posted 10/5/2021, updated 3/11/2022
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