The last day of Overwatch 1 will be 2nd October, Blizzard told me during an Overwatch 2 roundtable interview last night. (Note: this is from a Pacific Time point of view. With time differences, it could be 3rd October elsewhere in the world.) Overwatch 2 will then launch 4th October and be the only Overwatch game in operation.
“So roughly a day before Overwatch 2 launches, we’re going to be taking down the Overwatch 1 servers,” commercial lead Jon Spector explained to me. “So that means, as a practical point, that October 2nd really is the last day to go in and play Overwatch 1. And then it’s a 27-hour downtime that we’re planning in order to get the Overwatch 2 server stood up and running.
“We’ll give current Overwatch players the ability to download Overwatch 2 a little bit ahead of when we launch, if they want to pre-download. There’s also a couple of things that we’ll be asking players to do, to get ready for Overwatch 2. We’ll share a kind of launch checklist with players ahead of things so that they have a smooth experience getting in on 4th October, when we launch.
“So it’s basically 2nd October, Overwatch 1 has its last day; we’re down for 27 hours to give our team the ability to update all the servers to make sure that the backend supporting the launch of Overwatch 2 is ready to go; and then players can come in on 4th October. And if they already have Overwatch 1, they’ll get Overwatch 2 as basically an update from a systems perspective. You’ll see, ‘Update the game to Overwatch 2’ as an option on your PC or console. If you’re a new player, you’ll see on 4th October, the ability to come in and download and play Overwatch 2 for free.”
The switch to free-to-play for Overwatch 2 carries huge ramifications for the game. Loot boxes are completely gone, for instance, and in their place is a battle pass and an in-game shop – two things I talked at length to Blizzard about last night.
As mentioned many times, Overwatch 2 launches 4th October for PC, Xbox, PlayStation and Switch.