Overwatch 2 is an unusual sequel in that a lot of the new content it introduces–including new characters, maps, and PvP modes–will also be added to the original Overwatch on all platforms. Overwatch 2 will feature an exclusive campaign mode with PvE combat and a story that will delve deeper into the series’ lore, but if you’re just playing Overwatch for the PvP experience, you won’t miss out on anything if you don’t upgrade. It goes the other way as well–all cosmetics you’ve unlocked in the original game will carry over into Overwatch 2.
This is not a standard model for a sequel, but game director Jeff Kaplan has told Kotaku Australia that, while it was a difficult decision to make, he believes that this is the model that best benefits Overwatch’s player base. “It’s very challenging because the industry has done things the same way for so long,” he said. “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.”
Kaplan said that convincing people at Blizzard to do this meant explaining how it would ultimately benefit their players. “I try to tell them if we do what’s right by the players, they will be happy, we will have a better game, and we will end up in a better place in the long run.” He believes that cutting off players from the first Overwatch to “make that game just sort of die on the vine” is the wrong approach. “I always try to come at things from a player-first standpoint,” Kaplan said. Ultimately, this model will allow Overwatch 1 and 2 to coexist, and will allow for crossplay between the two games.
Overwatch 2 is just one of several big announcements to come out of BlizzCon 2019, where Diablo IV and World of Warcraft: Shadowlands were also shown for the first time. Overwatch 2 will release on Switch as well as PC, PS4 and Xbox One, and might feature a ping system similar to Apex Legends.