Overwatch 2 Release Date is a Ways Off, Hints Kaplan
BlizzCon 2019 was packed full of major game announcements from Blizzard. Both Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4 were revealed at the event, each revealed with incredible cinematic trailers and with gameplay breakdowns quick to follow. But fans have been quick to realize that despite the awe-inspiring announcements, neither Overwatch 2 nor Diablo 4 had release dates or even release windows revealed. In fact, both games were hinted to be a year if not years away from actually launching.
As BlizzCon 2019 wrapped up, the game director for both Overwatch and its sequel, Jeff Kaplan, confirmed fans’ fears. Initially, Kaplan said that he had no idea when Overwatch 2 would eventually be ready to launch. Kaplan eventually provided a little more detail clarifying that, “I have a feeling we’ll be talking about Overwatch 2 again next year at BlizzCon, if that helps.” In other words, given that BlizzCon 2020 will be a November convention again, Overwatch 2 probably isn’t arriving before 2021.
Kaplan is clearly not approved to give more specific information about Overwatch 2‘s development timeline, but he is also likely burdened by outstanding factors that he has no control over. Saying that Overwatch 2 is at least a year away is probably as much as can be safely assumed for Kaplan. From there, it depends on how development goes, how Activision’s release schedule lines up for a proper marketing campaign, what makes the most sense with regards to the Overwatch League, and any number of other extenuating circumstances.
Diablo 4 is faced with a similar situation, apparently, though release plans for it are even more ambiguous. Game director Luis Barriga described any release window for Diablo 4 as “not soon.” “We’re not coming out soon — not even Blizzard soon,” was Barriga’s specific language on the matter. That certainly implies that 2020 will also be missed by Diablo 4, and maybe even 2021. Despite what was shown at BlizzCon 2019 looking cool, these games are still early in development.
In an unsurprising yet bewildering turn, some Blizzard fans are accusing the company as rushing its game announcements to distract from criticism related to the recent Hong Kong-related controversy. But by all accounts, Blizzard has been planning on revealing both Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4 at BlizzCon 2019 for a very long time. The idea that a development studio could put together playable demos for either game in a month is laughable. If anything, Blizzard’s decision is due to fan frustrations from BlizzCon 2018.
Whatever the reason, Blizzard felt it was necessary and right to announce both Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4 at BlizzCon 2019 despite both games being a long way off. Fans will hopefully be patient.
Overwatch 2 is coming to Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, and Xbox One. Diablo 4 is confirmed for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.