The second anniversary of Overwatch is very special for Blizzard

We are in the middle of the second anniversary of Overwatch , the most important event for Blizzard since the launch of the game and since the inauguration of the Overwatch League last January.

Overwatch arrived in May 2016, when the genre ” hero shooter ” was the trend, before succumbing and, as in a battle royale, only one remained. Well, it’s not quite true, since Overwatch lives with Paladins, the game of Hi-Rez, creators of Smite, but that’s another song.

As we reviewed a few months ago, Overwatch won where the other games of the genre could not . He took ahead to Battleborn (and that did not look so much), Paragon or LawBreakers , among others, and not only triumphed at the time, but two years later held the most successful event to date, Uprising and Retribution.

Overwatch is more alive than ever thanks to the aforementioned Overwatch League , a competition that started strongly and continues to gather a good number of spectators each day. In addition, the company takes great care of each event and, as I said, the second anniversary event is very special.

In it, Blizzard gives us the opportunity, for three weeks, to enjoy the fights of past events, in addition to being able to get the skins that were left behind and we never got it, either for time or because we did not have the game.

This event is a celebration, and we were able, together with a select group of media, to chat with two of the developers of the game. Aaron Keller, Assistant Game Director) and Geof Goodman (Lead Designer) were in charge of telling us why this second anniversary is so special, and answering some of our questions.

Two years, and what’s left

” Blizzard had never done a fps and there were doubts, but we love creating games and seeing the reaction of the people has been incredible .” After presenting the second anniversary event, that was one of the first confessions made by two of the people in charge of Overwatch. Certainly, the doubt was on the street, but well, as Keller himself told us, Blizzard had not done an RPG before Diablo, and there it is, or an MMORPG before World of WarCraft. Or a card game, and there’s Hearthstone.

In the end, the designers of the different Blizzard teams have the time to develop their games, as well as great talent in the ranks, of course. They do not usually invent anything, but they take genre, they polish and, in the end, they create very, very funny games that work perfectly. And is that, faced with the expectation that aroused and the good reception after the launch, the designers were surprised.

” Everything has exceeded our expectations. We are absolutely blown away by the current figures. We feel satisfaction and the world that we have created excites people. All day we receive the affection of the people. ” An example they put were the innumerable pieces of fan-art that they receive daily in the team, a sign of the love and commitment of the gaming community.

Of course, as you have seen in these two years, Overwatch is a living game. As data: in a promer moment, there were 50 heroes on the table, and some we have not seen them yet in promotional arts. This means that, in addition to those that are missing out of some arts, many others could see the light in the future. Always, of course, if the community keeps asking for ” more Overwatch ”.

An example of how the game evolves is the Deathmatch mode. Keller said that this mode was implemented due to the wishes of the players, as well as Petra, the new map. Petra was the answer of Blizzard for the Deathmatch mode and, in addition, it is created so that Pharah or Widowmaker ” enjoy ” in it due to the verticality. In addition, not only stand out the design, but the art. ” The Stone City has mystery, it’s exotic and … beautiful ,” said the two designers.

Expands the lore of Overwatch with comics

Now, if the players mark, in a certain way, the evolution of the game … what about the PVE events (player versus environment)? Retribution has had great success and is an event in which four players face hordes of characters controlled by the machine. On this, Keller said that ” the juicy anniversary is that you can recover those past events, such as Uprising. And, people have reacted brilliantly to the PVE and I think that doing more events like this is exciting for the team, although we can not count much more at this time. ”

Skins and Mercy Rosa

Something that did not take long to come to the fore was the theme of the skins. In each event, new skins are launched that players look for by buying boxes and playing in different ways to get … more boxes. Yes, they reminded us that on the anniversary we can join, in addition to past skins, the new ones, but we also wanted to talk about the creation process itself.

” There are many ways to inspire when creating skins. We try to make them thematic for each event, such as summer, winter or Halloween. For this anniversary, however, we have done what we wanted. We do not have a style guide to create skins, and an event like this is an opportunity to do crazy things, like Doomfist ”.

Of course, we could not settle the issue without asking about Mercy Rosa’s skin. As you know, it is a skin that was launched a few weeks ago, becoming the first paid skin in the game. However, everything collected went to fight breast cancer. On this, Keller and Goodmand affirmed that “it was very special”.

And, in the team are very aware about cancer in general: ” cancer affects many people around the world and team members tell their family’s history or members of the community. We would love to create more charitable acts or work with associations, but we have no plans or details to confirm about this right now. ”

Esports and the future

“We do not know what will happen in 10 years, but I think it’s very cool to see more games with this model,” Keller said about the genre and similar games. In addition, they ended up talking about esports. At first, there seems to be pressure, as there were voices pointing to Blizzard’s need to create a sport and not a video game. They said ” we will do the best game we can without closing doors, ” and that’s the way it has been. After the launch, and seeing the reception of the players, the electronic sports machinery was launched.

This, as we have said before, is of vital importance to maintain the game with the best possible health, and from Blizzard they affirm that they will continue promoting the competitive one, besides continuing to polish the differences between the heroes so that they are as balanced as possible.

The final wish has been clear: ” I hope our players and fans enjoy our model. ” Oh! And one more. And is that, at least the two of them, are in favor of allowing people to create maps and share them, although it is something that is beyond their powers. We will see each other on the third anniversary of Overwatch.

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