Director’s Take – Looking Beyond Overwatch 2: Invasion

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Director’s Take – Looking Beyond Overwatch 2: Invasion

Overwatch 2: Invasion launched last week, and it was our biggest season launch ever! The release included work from every section of the Overwatch team, and we’ve been looking forward to sharing what we built with all of you for a long time. We made big additions to the Core PvP game and other features, a new Battle Pass, and a Null Sector theme that we received great feedback early on. We also launched the first chapter of our Story Missions and ran a Co-op event alongside their release. We've heard from many of our core players that the game is in the best state it's ever been, and many have told us that it feels like we're really listening to their feedback and that this season is a culmination of that. It’s so awesome to hear.

Illari, our newest support hero, was introduced this season. Players have given us a lot of positive feedback about her. Our balance goal for the release of Illari was to make sure that she felt strong (but not overpowered!) at launch.  I think we hit that goal. Illari is very strong, but some of what helps Illari not feel overpowered is her Support role and kit. Were we to release a Damage hero with a one-shot ability, we would be a little more careful with their power level. Illari will enter our Ranked mode on Thursday, August 24, and we will be making a few adjustments to her by then - most likely to her Healing Pylon and Ultimate.

We also released a new game mode, Flashpoint, with two unique maps this season. While there’s been a lot of talk about Illari and other parts of Overwatch 2: Invasion, we're seeing lower conversation around this mode. Players are busy with the new hero and everything else released this season, so it’s understandable… but we still want the mode to be as good as possible! So let us have it. We’d like to know what people like and dislike with Flashpoint so that we can iterate on it. We’re also talking about when to bring Flashpoint to Ranked. Barring any bugs or exploits, we'd like to start Ranked matches sooner rather than later.

A big part of this season was the release of our first set of Story Missions, which has seen more discussion than any other part of the season. Some of the discussion has been critical, and I’ll get to that, but one of the things that I loved seeing was the Legendary runs that people were streaming online. These missions on Legendary are hard. Super hard. Most people can't complete them at this difficulty, and those that did had to devise custom strategies and team comps to get past the hardest encounters. If you’re a content creator who completed Legendary and you’re reading this post, pat yourself on the back. You were great entertainment!  Only 1.6% of attempts successfully completed Gothenburg on Legendary, and 0.7% of attempts on Toronto were successful! We feel like we learned something with the level of difficulty and are excited to apply and expand on it for future Co-op content.

We also launched on Steam last week, and, although being review-bombed isn't a fun experience, it's been great to see lots of new players jump into Overwatch 2 for the first time. Our goal with Overwatch 2 has been to make the game more accessible than ever for more people than ever before.

Many of the reviews on Steam mention the cancellation of the much larger component of PvE that was announced in 2019 as one of their primary reasons for dissatisfaction with the game. I get that. That announcement was about an ambitious project that we ultimately couldn't deliver.  

If we can’t turn back the clock, then what can we do? We can keep adding to and improving Overwatch 2. That is how we move forward. This means more maps, heroes, game modes, missions, stories, events, cool cosmetics, and features - an ever-expanding, evolving, and improving game. This is the future of Overwatch. One where we will continually create and innovate on what is making the game great now for the players who are playing now.

Overwatch is such a unique game and world. When our heroes are all working together to complete an objective, there is really nothing else like it. Jump in--there's more to come!

As always, thanks for reading, and I'll see you in-game.