It seems that Overwatch 2 is more than just a flashy sequel. Instead, it’s a full on replacement for the seven-year-old Overwatch, which will stop working when Overwatch 2 arrives on October 4th. Given previous news, this isn’t much of a surprise.
When Overwatch 2 was initially announced in 2019, former game director Jeff Kaplan said that the new and old titles would have a “shared multiplayer environment.” People assumed that he meant cross-play, though in recent months it’s become clear that the original Overwatch will lose its gameplay system (specifically 6v6) and take on the new game’s format.
Replacing an old title’s gameplay to match the sequel makes zero sense. So, fans began speculating that the original Overwatch would simply shut down. And the current game director, Aaron Keller, has confirmed as much in a Reddit AMA. He says that “when OW2 launches on October 4, it will be a replacement for the current Live Service.”
“We’re launching with new heroes, maps, and features, but there are even more of these coming seasonally—every nine weeks. We recently released a roadmap detailing some of this content, with a new hero coming in Seasons 1 and 2, and a new map in Season 2… When OW2 launches on October 4, it will be a replacement for the current Live Service.”
So, say hello to 5v5 matches and other changes introduced in Overwatch 2. If you don’t enjoy the new game, I guess that’s all there is to it.
The good news is that your progress in Overwatch will carry over to Overwatch 2. Also, the new game is free to play, so Blizzard isn’t forcing you to spend money.