Overwatch 2 will arrive on the Nintendo Switch and multiple other platforms early next month as a free-to-play title.
As part of this, Blizzard has announced it will be shutting down the original game’s servers. This will take place just days before the second game’s launch on 4th October. Here’s how Blizzard’s commercial lead Jon Spector explained it to our friends over at Eurogamer:
“So roughly a day before Overwatch 2 launches, we’re going to be taking down the Overwatch 1 servers… 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.”
Overwatch players will be given a chance to pre-load the second game “a little bit ahead” of launch. Blizzard will also apparently share a “launch checklist” for players, to ensure players are ready to go when Overwatch 2 goes live.
The original game servers aren’t all that’s being dropped. Blizzard is swapping out Assault maps for the new Push mode in the quick play and competitive modes. This will result in the removal of Hanamura, Volskaya and Temple of Anubis, but they’ll still be accessible to players in the custom game mode. Here’s what Overwatch art director Dion Rogers had to say about this (via Polygon):
“It was a tough decision for us to lose the Assault maps, Hanamura being one of personally my favorite maps in the game, with the Japanese aesthetic and arcade that you destroy. We do plan to reuse this in some way because it’s connected to the lore so much — [just like] Temple of Anubis and Volskaya.”
This follows on from teams being reduced to 5v5 in Overwatch 2 (including the removal of one tank from each team) and the news the second outing would ditch loot boxes in favour of a battle pass system.
So, there you go – enjoy the original Overwatch and the above-mentioned maps while you still can. Will you be checking out Overwatch 2 on the Switch when it arrives early next month? Leave a comment below.