In a recent Reddit AMA, Overwatch game designer, Jeff Kaplan, suggested that he felt very passionately about the introduction of a cross-play feature in Overwatch, but avoided committing to the feature.
Overwatch 2’s Cross-Play Excites Community
Blizzard has ushered in important changes in the esports ecosystem, establishing Overwatch as the first franchised and league-based game and creating a new competitive model where players get to attend in person and play in the Home and Away format. Now, Overwatch 2 may be looking to introduce cross-play, something that all new shooters, from Valorant to Hyper Scape have already confirmed they would support.
The cross-play hype began with the Call of Duty franchise, and certainly with Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battleground (PUBG) commitment to arrive to all platforms, all games stand to benefit from following the same success story. According to Jeff Kaplan, designer of Overwatch and part of the developer team, Overwatch 2 may see the addition of a cross-play feature.
During a Reddit AMA, Kaplan took a question whether cross-play in the second chapter of the game, he said that “this is something we’re passionate about and exploring.” He didn’t elaborate on the point, but rumors have been swirling since that Overwatch would be remiss not to benefit from the popularity of mobile and console gaming, a tenet Blizzard Entertainment themselves have promoted since the announcement of Diablo Immortal.
Some have suggested that there would be balance issues to allow console gamers to compete in a fair environment against PC gamers due to aiming issues and the swiftness of mouse and keyboards inputs.
Mobile and Console Gaming on the Rise, But What about Balance?
Yet, in games such as PUBG, the difference between mobile and PC gamers has been virtually erased, and many gamers have been winning in Fortnite from their mobile handheld devices. Naturally, though, there are some hardware limitations to consider.
Nintendo Switch, for example, supports 30 frames per second gaming environment, but next generation consoles, such as Playstation and Xbox tend to have 60 frames per second, and this is only going to improve with the arrival of their latest iterations.
Overwatch 2 plans to have both a PvE and PvP environment, making for a rather exciting opportunity to play from a device different than PC and still have an equal competitive edge. However, in purely esports terms, there may still be an unfair advantage.
Overwatch 2 will debut at some point in late 2021 and it will arrive on a host of platforms, including PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, with no mention for current console releases.