As previously understood, Overwatch 2 will replace the current game at launch. In essence, the current owner of Overwatch will download the patch, the game will be Overwatch 2, and all related changes will be multiplayer. For example, the game will be changed to 5v5 format, introducing various balance changes. The promised PvE campaign mode will be released in 2023.
Clarification was made via Reddit AMA. A post from Overwatch 2 game director Aaron Keller states that the October 4th game launch is the beginning of Early Access. “The term Early Access is used to indicate that this is just the beginning of many new things in the game,” he added. Plans to replace the original Overwatch will also fit into the new free play model. According to Blizzard’s recently released roadmap, larger content updates occur seasonally and every nine weeks. Season 1 includes Sojourn and Junker Queen, as well as new maps. For more information on launching the game, see the GameSpot guide for everything you know about Overwatch 2 and an interview with Aaron Keller.
News about Overwatch 2 comes in the context of sexual harassment and abuse allegations and union activities at the developer and publisher Activision Blizzard. Microsoft recently agreed to approve the union after acquiring Activision Blizzard. However, in the meantime, shareholders voted to leave CEO Bobby Kotick on the board. He seems to resign until 2023, despite many employees asking him to resign.