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What just happened? Since Blizzard unveiled Overwatch 2 three years ago, some wondered how the developer planned to connect the two games to avoid bifurcating the player base. Now we know there will only be one Overwatch.
In a Reddit AMA this week, Overwatch 2 director Aaron Keller confirmed that Blizzard's upcoming free-to-play multiplayer sequel will replace its predecessor upon its October 4 Early Access launch. The original plan was to share content between the two.
When Blizzard announced Overwatch 2 in 2019, it said Overwatch 1 players would have access to all the follow-up's new heroes and maps, that they would keep everything they earned upon upgrading to the new game, and that owners of both games could play together to maintain one big community. The company has since decided to keep everybody together by simply transitioning all players into Overwatch 2.
When Blizzard unveiled the release date earlier this month, it revealed that Overwatch 2's multiplayer will be free-to-play for everyone.
Echoing other games that went from premium to freemium, Overwatch 1 owners will get a founder's pack containing skins, an icon, and a gift that will remain a surprise until October. Blizzard will follow the launch with new content including heroes, maps, and battle passes every nine weeks. Other planned features, like the co-op PvE mode, will arrive next year.