And now, its over-watch has ended. Don your black cloth, folks, Blizzard has announced that Overwatch 1 goes offline on Sunday, October 2.
Blizzard confirmed the news to Eurogamer (opens in new tab) in an interview yesterday. The October 2 date was given from the perspective of someone living in the Pacific time zone, says Eurogamer, so depending on the precise hour that the servers go down, it could occur on October 1st or 3rd for people in other areas.
Overwatch 2’s servers will then whirr to life on October 4 (again, Pacific Time disclaimer) and run unopposed as the only Overwatch game in town.
“October 2nd really is the last day to go in and play Overwatch 1,” Overwatch’s commercial lead Jon Spector explained, “and then it’s a 27-hour downtime that we’re planning in order to get the Overwatch 2 server stood up and running”.
Players will be given a chance to preload Overwatch 2 ahead of its proper launch, and Blizzard will release a “launch checklist” of things Overwatch 1 players should do to prepare for the second game some time in the near future.
When the game hits, Overwatch 1 players will be presented with a not-so-optional option to “Update the game to Overwatch 2” when they try to play. As we’ve said before, the whole thing feels more like Overwatch 2.0 than Overwatch 2 (opens in new tab), putting Blizzard in an odd position of upsetting both the fans who wanted a full-fledged sequel and the ones who were perfectly happy with the first game, thank you very much.
If you’re curious to know more about what changes are in store for the series, you can check out everything we know about Overwatch 2 (opens in new tab). But we’ll find out how everyone takes to the new(ish) game on October 4. I imagine there’ll be more Overwatch-related controversy before then: it was only a few days ago that players were up in arms over news that Blizzard planned to lock Overwatch 2 heroes behind battle passes (opens in new tab). I doubt the announcement of the date for the first game’s death is going to have a tranquilising effect.