It looks like Blizzard may have more in store for Overwatch at this year’s BlizzCon than a new hero or two. Reports have surfaced saying a new Overwatch game will be revealed at Blizzard’s annual convention this year, though whether it’s a full sequel or some other kind of expansion is a little hazy.
The report comes from ESPN Esports via industry consultant Rod Breslau, saying Blizzard will reveal the “next iteration” of Overwatch. This includes new branding, maps, modes, heroes, and specifically, narrative PvE content, per ESPN’s sources and documents acquired by the outlet.
Talk around an Overwatch sequel first surfaced in June, when a Kotaku report on a canceled StarCraft FPS said resources were moved to, among other projects, “Overwatch 2.” What kind of sequel this might be is still in question; Breslau later clarified that “it is very likely the next iteration of Overwatch will not be ‘Overwatch 2,’ but instead a variant of ‘Overwatch: Chapter 2.'”
According to the report, one major change will be heroes with talents. Overwatch streamer Stylosa tweeted out an image showing Tracer’s hero talent tree, which gave her options at various “levels” to choose between branching options that would bolster different aspects of her kit, similar to Heroes of the Storm or Dota 2. Stylosa’s tweet also contained an image of “Sojourn,” a rumored forthcoming hero for Overwatch.
Overwatch 2 will also have more of a narrative bent than its predecessor. Per ESPN’s report, the hero elements and in-game items are coming to a PvE experience. They say a four-player story mission is expected to be playable at BlizzCon this coming weekend, set in Rio de Janeiro, with a focus on story and narrative elements. Blizzard will also debut a new multiplayer game type called “Push,” on a map set in Toronto, according to the report.
The news will be coming during a rough time for Blizzard. The company has found itself under significant scrutiny following the suspension of Hearthstone player Blitzchung for pro-Hong Kong statements, even after lightening his punishment in response to community outcry. The publisher recently canceled a New York Overwatch launch event, and the delayed suspension of American University students who protested in support of Hong Kong and Blitzchung stoked the flames again.
With BlizzCon coming up this weekend, it’ll be interesting to see whether new game announcements can pacify a growing unrest among Blizzard’s fanbase. We’ll likely see it during the opening ceremony, on Friday, Nov. 1.