Following the announcement of Overwatch 2 at Blizzcon, head developer Jeff Kaplan has been discussing the long-awaited sequel. In one interview with Kotaku, Jeff spoke about the difficulties in getting Blizzard to listen. Listen to what exactly? His wild idea to have Overwatch 1 and 2 merge into a single client.
In case you missed Blizzcon, Overwatch 2’s announcement was met with a fair amount of confusion. Instead of announcing a direct sequel, Blizzard instead claimed they were “redefining the sequel.” Specifically, Overwatch 2 would act more like a huge expansion to its predecessor rather than a replacement. The multiplayer of Overwatch won’t be gutted but rather built upon instead.
Freedom To Develop
However, pushing an idea this revolutionary was “very challenging,” claims Jeff Kaplan:
“…the industry has done things the same way for so long. And so it’s hard to get people, push them out of their comfort zone and say, hey I think we could do it a better way.”Jeff Kaplan, Overwatch Head Developer
Jeff continued on to discuss the issues with the current sequel model many games follow.
…I try to tell them if we do what’s right by the players, they will be happy, we we will have a better game, and we will end up in a better place in the long run. Rather than having this short sighted thinking that’s usually driven by anxiety of ‘the only way to get players to play Overwatch 2 is to cut off all the Overwatch 1 players and starve them out…Jeff Kaplan, Overwatch Head Developer
To be fair to Blizzard, Jeff Kaplan makes it out as though his team gets a reasonable level of freedom. Many modern AAA publishers strangle their hard-working developing teams. Given Blizzard’s recent problems its nice to see some kind of positive come out of there. Although admittedly, as a Blizzard employee Jeff is hardly going to rip into his bosses.