Overwatch 2

Overwatch 2

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Updated Aug 14, 2023 at 11:42AM EDT by Philipp.

Added Oct 28, 2019 at 10:01AM EDT by Philipp.

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Overwatch 2 is a sequel to the 2016 multiplayer game Overwatch developed by Blizzard Entertainment. The game features 5v5 FPS gameplay with players choosing from a large roster of heroes. First rumored to be in production in June 2019, the game officially was announced on November 1st, 2019, and released in October 2022.


On June 6th, 2019, video game website Kotaku reported that Blizzard Entertainment had canceled a StarCraft first-person shooter in order to dedicate more resources to Diablo 4 and yet unannounced Overwatch sequel, mentioning that both games were expected to be announced at BlizzCon in November 2019.[1] The article stated that the sequel would feature a large PvE element and mentioned that several Blizzard employees made comparisons to Left 4 Dead series.

On October 26th, 2019, Twitter account @WeakAuras leaked an image of Tracer art next to logo reading "Overwatch 2," with the tweet receiving over 280 retweets and 1,100 likes (shown below, left).[2] On the following day, Esports personality Rod "Slasher" Breslau reported that Overwatch 2 would be announced at the upcoming BlizzCon 2019 event, providing additional art (tweet shown below, right).[3]

WeakAuras @WeakAuras And some #overwatch2 OVERWATCH 3:00 PM - 26 Oct 2019 A Rod Breslau @Slasher new from me for ESPN: Sources: Blizzard will unveil the next iteration of Overwatch at BlizzCon, Overwatch 2, which will feature PvE, new maps, new game modes, and a new hero among other updates @ESPN_Esports es.pn/2NjRjPB DVERWATCH 8:28 AM-27 Oct 2019


On November 1st, Blizzard officially announced Overwatch 2 during BlizzCon 2019 (trailer shown below). The game will include a fully fleshed out story mode, expanding on the lore Blizzard has developed over the previous three years.[6] The characters will have updated designs in the new game. Overwatch 1 players will be able to face players of Overwatch 2. Blizzard also said that unlocked cosmetics from Overwatch 1 will carry over to Overwatch 2.

Trailer Release

On November 1st, 2019, the first trailer for the game, "Zero Hour," was released, accumulating over 17.7 million views on YouTube[10] in three years (shown below, left). On the same day, gameplay trailer was released,[11] accumulating 6 million views (shown below, right).

Beta Release

On April 26th, 2022, Overwatch 2 PvP beta launched.[12] On April 27th, Overwatch set a category record on Twitch with over 1.5 million concurrent viewers, in part due to beta invitations dropping from selected streamers.[13]


On October 3rd, 2022, Blizzard shut down the Overwatch servers in preparation for the launch of the sequel. On October 4th, 2022, Overwatch 2 was officially launched a free-to-play game.[14]

PvE Mode Cancellation

On May 16, 2023, Overwatch streamer KarQ relayed an update from the Developer Chat, tweeting[21] that the original PvE vision for the game "is no more," and that the PvE elements will be released as separate missions and stories with each PvP season instead. The tweet (shown below) gained over 2,800 retweets and 31,700 likes in one day.

TOFONT KarQ @KarQGames Overwatch 2 update from the Dev Chat: Original PvE vision from 2019 is no more. Talent trees scrapped, and there will be no standalone version. It's just little bits of PvE such as missions/stories released with each PvP season as part of their live service. Man... 2:41 PM May 16, 2023 19.2M Views

In the following day, the news of the standalone PvE Mode having been cancelled became a viral subject of discussions and memes on Twitter. For example, on May 16th, Twitter user @BitchyAmi made a tweet[22] that garnered over 2,100 retweets and 20,900 likes in one day (shown below, left). Later that day, gaming YouTuber "videogamedunkey":Lhttps://knowyourmeme.com/memes/people/videogamedunkey tweeted "rest in piece overwatch 2." The tweet (shown below, right) gained over 1,000 retweets and 22,200 likes in one day.

Kawashima Ami @BitchyAmi The entire reason for justifying Overwatch 2 has been cancelled THE KRUSTY KRAB V KarQ @KarQGames. May 16 Overwatch 2 update from the Dev Chat: THE KRUSTY KRAB Man... Show this thread GRAND OPENING Original PvE vision from 2019 is no more. Talent trees scrapped, and there will be no standalone version. 3:07 PM - May 16, 2023 722.2K Views Siss It's just little bits of PvE such as missions/stories released with each PvP season as part of their live service. : dunkey @vgdunkey rest in piece overwatch 2 9:41 PM May 16, 2023 · 833.3K Views


Following the release, the game received positive critic reviews but was review-bombed by users over launch issues, phone number requirements and the long-lasting argument that the early development of a sequel was an incorrect decision.

On Metarctic,[15] as of October 5th, the game maintained a 81 critic score with 21 reviews and a 1.3 user score with 450 reviews.

August 2023 Steam Reviews

On August 10th, 2023, Overwatch 2 was made available on Steam.[22] In four days, over 116,000 users reviews for the game were submitted by users, 91 percent of them negative, which made Overwatch 2 the worst-reviewed video game on Steam of all time.

The review-bombing of the game became a viral subject of discussions on social media, with users sharing screenshots of popular reviews and posting memes. For example, on August 11th, 2023, X[23] user @PatStaresAt posted a screenshot of the Overwatch 2 Steam page displaying "Overwhelmingly Negative" review rating, with the post gaining over 2,400 reposts and 31,000 likes in three days (shown below, left). On August 12th, 2023, X[24] user @YongYea made a post comparing Steam reviews for Baldur's Gate 3 and Overwatch 2, with the post garnering over 900 reposts and 14,000 likes (shown below, right).

Pat Stares At Perfect Best Baby Ever @PatStaresAt Wonder how Overwatch 2 is doing on st-OH YEAH LETS GO OVERWATCH 2 Overwatch 2 is a critically acclaimed, team-based shooter game set in an optimistic future with an evolving roster of heroes. Team up with friends and jump in today. ALL REVIEWS: RELEASE DATE: DEVELOPER: PUBLISHER: Overwhelmingly Negative (47,984) 10 Aug, 2023 Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. Popular user-defined tags for this product: Hero Shooter FPS Free to Play Multiplayer 12:19 PM . Aug 11, 2023 1.5M Views + The duality of gaming. Yong Yea Eng Voice of Kiryu @YongYea Baldur's Gate 3: 96% on Steam Overwatch 2: 9% on Steam Released Aug 3, 2023 Baldur's Gate 3 is a story-rich, party-based RPG set in the universe of Dungeons & Dragons, where your choices shape a tale of fellowship and betrayal, survival and sacrifice, and the lure of absolute power. TAGS RPG TARGE Choices Matter Story Rich + REVIEWS Very Positive (93% of 142,358) ALL TIME Overwhelmingly Positive (96% of 84,770) RECENT 7:44 PM · Aug 12, 2023 837.3K Views Publisher Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. Released Aug 10, 2023 Overwatch 2 is a critically acclaimed, team-based shooter game set in an optimistic future with an evolving roster of heroes. Team up with friends and jump in today. TAGS Hero Shooter REVIEWS FPS Overwhelmingly Negative (9% of 88,339) ALL TIME Free to Play OVERWATCH 2

Online Reactions

Following the Overwatch 2 leaks in late October 2019, multiple users online posted memes about the upcoming game. In some examples, users criticized Blizzard for releasing a sequel for the multiplayer game too quickly. For example, a post by Twitter user @Toothlessninja questioning the longevity of the original Overwatch game gained over 600 retweets and 1,800 likes in one day (shown below, top).[4] An American Dad Intro But Stan Doesn't Wake Up meme by user @RamenBomber gained over 80 retweets and 880 likes (shown below, bottom).[5]

Character Design Reveals

On February 19th, 2021, the official Twitter[7][8][9] account for Overwatch posted a series of images revealing the new designs for some of the characters, including Widowmaker (shown below, left), Reaper (shown below, center) and McCree (shown below, right).

Overwatch ... @PlayOverwatch Now you have my attention. The futurist femme-fatale Widowmaker gets a new look for Overwatch 2. 6:34 PM · Feb 19, 2021 · Twitter Web App Overwatch @PlayOverwatch I'm dressed to kill.. Reaper's ghostly new look for Overwatch 2. 6:33 PM · Feb 19, 2021 · Twitter Web App Overwatch ... @PlayOverwatch Buckle up, this gunslinger's loaded! A sneak peek at McCree's new look coming to Overwatch 2. BAMF 6:32 PM - Feb 19, 2021 · Twitter Web App

Following the reveal, the images became a subject of memes and discussions on social media. In many posts, users highlighted the lack of changes between the designs of the characters in Overwatch and Overwatch 2. Additionally, the redesign of cowboy character McCree gained additional attention due to the character having a lighter skin tone compared to Overwatch.

danny; @paersi overwatch vs overwatch 2 designs MoneS STARS! DIN FRHEAT BEM JOIN NING COOK ASS 6:36 PM · Feb 19, 2021 · Twitter for iPhone BLM | Ultima ... @UltimaShadowX Overwatch 2 "Redesigns" be like: We need disguises. Perfect! 11:32 AM · Feb 20, 2021 · Twitter for iPhone Orlando the Unibou!!! ... @muteOrator McCree Overwatch 2 4:54 AM · Feb 20, 2021 · Twitter for Android

Phone Number Requirement

Shortly prior to the launch of the game, Blizzard revealed that Overwatch 2 will require a phone number for account protection, and that pre-paid plans won't be able to be used for the service. This effectively barred players with pre-paid phone plans from playing the game.

On September 27th and October 4th, 2022, Redditors ZacharyH2 and RLmclovin made posts about no longer being able to play the game due to having a pre-paid phone plan (shown below, left and right). The posts gained over 2,600 upvotes and 1,800 upvotes in the /r/overwatch[16][17] subreddit. In their post, RLmclovin wrote that Blizzard was "the first company to make him feel too poor to play a game."

On October 5th, 2022, Twitter[18] user @lackingsaint shared screenshots of both posts, with the post gaining over 10,500 retweets and 85,800 likes.

+4 Posted by u/ZacharyH8 Soldier: 76 9 days ago 2 2.6k I've been using a Walmart prepaid plan for 5yrs and now I won't be able to to play OW2 News & Discussion Starting October 4, 2022, all players across all platforms, including consoles, are required to have a phone number attached to their battle.net account to launch Overwatch 2. The same phone number cannot be used on multiple accounts at the same time, and players can't use the same phone number to create multiple accounts. A phone number can only be used once when making a new account, and certain types of numbers, including pre-paid and VOIP, cannot be used for SMS Protect. Even if you own a previous box version of the original Overwatch, you still need to activate SMS Protect to play Overwatch 2. Hopefully I can find a loophole but there's a lot of people who use prepaid phone plans for things other than new accounts and depending on how strict this is it will alienate a lot of people who have played the game for years. r/Overwatch u/RLmclovin • 14h I am ashamed of having a prepaid phone News & Discussion I have cricket wireless. It's what my family can afford. Idk what else to say. I'm not going to tell my family that we should switch because of a video game. Now I can't play overwatch. I'm really sad about this. I've been playing with friends and family for years, now I can't play with any of them because of my phone plan. I'm really upset and oddly ashamed for not meeting this "standard". Never thought I would be disqualified from playing overwatch based on my ability afford a phone contract, but here we are... Blizzard is the first company to make me feel too poor to play a game. 820 131 Join Share Award

Following extensive coverage by both social and traditional media, on October 6th Blizzard announced[19] the decision to remove the phone number requirement for the majority of Overwatch players.

Connection Issues and Queue Times

Upon the release of the game, issues with long queues and server connection became a viral topic on social media. For example, on October 5th, 2022, YouTuber[20] videogamedunkey posted a sarcastic video about the issue that accumulated over 2.2 million views in one day (shown below).

Overwatch 2 Will Require…

Overwatch 2 Will Require… refers to a series of memes that parody the news of Overwatch 2 recording voice chat and requiring a phone number to play. In such memes, Overwatch 2 is depicted as enforcing ridiculous demands on its players, such as a Mandatory Cock Inspection.

Overwatch Mandatory Oiled Up Booty Pics BY WARN TV PUBLISHED 1 DAY AGO 2 Will Require New Players In order to use Overwatch 2's multitude of new online features, new coming players are required to send a picture of themselves completely naked and covered in oil and must compete in a twerk off with other new coming players Overwatch 2 Introduces Mandatory A--- Cavity Inspections. BY Munaeris PUBLISHED 1 DAY AGO f Blizzard details some ways it will combat 'disruptive players' in Overwatch 2, which includes making sure players aren't sneaking in any Valorant guns or cosmetics. Overwatch in an Effort to Prevent P--- 2 Will Encrypt its 3D characters BY ALAN SMITHY PUBLISHED 2 HOURS AGO f Blizzard says their players have become too horny and need to be bonked. States Tracer wasnt intended to have a penis.

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