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Published: 31/Jul/2020 7:04 Updated: 31/Jul/2020 7:05by Isaac McIntyre
Blizzard is “exploring” Overwatch 2 crossplay ahead of the sequel’s official release date, vice president Jeff Kaplan has confirmed, with possible plans to link Xbox, PlayStation, PC, and more for multiplayer matches after launch.
The Overwatch 2 hype is slowly building every week, even without a firm release date for the sequel. Now a new slice of info from Jeff Kaplan has sent that growing excitement into overdrive; crossplay could be coming to Blizzard’s FPS series.
Overwatch was first released all the way back in early 2016, and quickly exploded onto the competitive shooter market. Interest has waved slightly in recent years, however, in part due to the console player base dwindling since launch.
Players have long suggested linking up Xbox, PlayStation, and PC players, as well as all the new Nintendo Switch fans, could be one way to breathe new life into the multiplayer title, as queue times continue to climb in ranked play.
The possibility of Overwatch crossplay looks like something Blizzard has already strongly considered as part of the sequel’s development; company vice president, Jeff Kaplan, said as much during a recent fan forum on Reddit.
“[Crossplay] is something we’re passionate about, and exploring,” the Blizzard guru admitted. His response came after one eager Overwatch fan asked if “crossplay would ever be a thing” in Blizzard’s long-running FPS franchise.
Kaplan’s crossplay confirmation came soon after the Blizzard figurehead revealed Overwatch 2 would hopefully have some form of “cross-persistence” for ranks and skins, despite the fact “the technical and business hurdles are immense.”
“We really like the idea of cross-persistence,” Kaplan wrote. “It’s something we would love to see for Overwatch… we are very passionate about trying to make something like this happen someday.”
Crossplay has been a hot topic in the competitive gaming scene recently too. Apex Legends is another huge franchise that is going to implement the link-up feature. Developers at Respawn Entertainment are doing things a little differently, however.
According to an EA software engineer working on the title’s new feature, Apex Legends is set to keep PC fans separate from their console rivals — for the most part — in an effort to avoid PC players “dominating” stick-based opponents.
Jeff Kaplan gave little indication which way Overwatch 2 would be leaning in regards to their crossplay settings. It’s safe to assume Blizzard will stick to the norm, however, which means PC and console players will square off every match.
The Blizzard vice president also confirmed Overwatch’s double shields were the developers’ “biggest priority” ahead of the next balancing patch. That admission comes after a planned Moira rework was scrapped earlier this week.