With all of the Overwatch 2 rumors going on and a rumored reveal on the horizon, it looks very likely that Overwatch itself could be going free-to-play. That being said, there are a few things to consider first.
Leaker @Metro_OW has been responsible for quite a few leaks in the past few weeks regarding Overwatch 2. His latest find is that Overwatch 1 will reportedly being going free-to-play, but there's one catch to that statement that should be at least considered since it is in direct conflict with something previously said by the same person.
In one of their earlier reports, it alluded to that Overwatch 2 might not be a sequel in its own right, instead a massive update to the game as we know it meant to be a reboot of sorts. If that sort of absorption were to occur, then Overwatch wouldn't be a separate entity therefore couldn't be removed as a free-to-play title - right?
Yes and no. There are quite a few games out there that are - at base - one hub but with several choices offered. It could be there is an option to play the base game itself, which could then be moved to free-to-play, while opting out of the Overwatch 2 update. Or, it could really be two separate games - the earlier report, in fact none of it, has been confirmed at this time.
If Overwatch does in fact go free-to-play, this is already setting up Blizzard for yet another scandal that could remove the community even further from their love of the company that gave us Overwatch, World of Warcraft, and Diablo. Overwatch for the Nintendo Switch just launched at full value. Were they to announce it is going to free-to-play, depending on when that decision's effect goes live, the backlash from the Nintendo version buyers could be immediate.
As for the earlier leaks, one source cites that Overwatch 2 will replace Overwatch 1 completely in an effort to avoid dividing the player base. In their statement they mentioned "Slasher already corrected himself with Echo for Overwatch not being at Blizzcon. A move of everyone over to OW 2 is more likely."
He added, "This means, a complete engine and content update and the rebranding of the game to Overwatch 2. I could best compare this to Fortnite Chapter 2 even though I don't like it. Overwatch as we know it will be scrapped. You can also call this a huge update to Overwatch. This is partially speculation but the info I gave out over the last few days is true."
This leak does resonate with what Jeff Kaplan said at the end of last year where Overwatch will have a "major update" that will essentially act as a reboot. What says reboot better than everything described so far? PvE, new game modes, heroes, and a focus on story? These are all things players have been asking for over the years and fit the "reboot" Kaplan talked about to the T.
Many assumed the massive overhauls on characters like Torbjorn and Symetra were this reboot, especially with the latter changing classes entirely, but two hero changes don't really equate to a reboot. Luckily, we'll find out soon enough because BlizzCon kicks off this Friday!
To learn more about what Overwatch 2 will allegedly have to offer, you can check out our previous coverage here as well as a few other Overwatch stories below:
- Overwatch for Nintendo Switch Review | A Port That Got Hit With a "Nerf This"
- Overwatch's Genji Transforms Into World of Warcraft's Illidan And More Rewards With Virtual BlizzCon Ticket
- Overwatch and Horizon Zero Dawn Collide With This Awesome Aloy Concept Art
Overwatch 2 aside, the original Overwatch is available now on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, and Nintendo Switch.