Nothing is a given in the world of Blizzard. The phrases “soon” and “Blizzard Time ™” aren’t just jokes, they’re a reality.
While the “gameplay first” mantra wanes a bit from project to project in modern times, for the most part, Blizzard gets a decent chunk of time to create their games, with the aim of supporting them for long periods of time. And as we wait for Overwatch 2, people have a lot of questions.
So is there going to be a beta? It seems like it! On the recent Overwatch 2 AMA, technical director John Lafleur confirmed just that. Lafluer states, plainly, “Almost certainly, yes. If I knew when, I couldn’t tell you. If I told you, I’d have to kill you. But u/blizz_akeller [Game Director Aaron Keller] is our resident secret-leaker, so you might give him a try! :).”
He also reminds us that the sequel is making some technical strides, noting: “Yes, we’ve had a lot of changes to the game engine. Many optimizations, better lighting, and many new features have been added. PvE has also allowed us to look much more at how our environments tell our story, so we’ve added many features that help with that.”
However, he also says that “Switch is a little more challenging than some, and we’ll have to make some compromises there.” He further explains the situation by stating: “For that reason, some of the higher end visual enhancements might not be visible, there. We’ll focus on making sure all of the gameplay-related features get in, first, and then accentuate with additional features as much as possible.”
What about Overwatch 1? Well, it doesn’t seem like it’s going to get major upgrades for the time being, as Lafleur says that they “don’t have any plans” to provide a 120 FPS PS5 patch, and would have to “invest a non-trivial amount of time to upgrade original Overwatch to recognize and separately treat the PS5.” Instead, they’re “focusing on Overwatch 2.”