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Activision Blizzard noted in an investors call today that Overwatch 2 and Diablo IV won’t launch until at least 2022, noting that it is not expecting either game to be a part of its 2021 financials. Activision did note that Blizzard will be releasing new projects during 2022.
Overwatch 2 isn’t delayed. It never had a release date. Still, this will be disappointing news for fans of Blizzard’s team-shooter series. For Diablo IV, 2021 never seemed likely.
Blizzard announced Overwatch 2 during its BlizzCon event in November 2019. We haven’t heard much about the sequel to the hit since then. But considering what Blizzard showed, which was more of an upgrade to the original with a new cooperative multiplayer mode and other new features, it felt like we could see it sooner rather later.
It turns out it’s coming later rather than sooner, which could make Overwatch fans anxious. While Overwatch enjoyed a steady stream of new content, including additional characters, modes, and maps for years after its 2016 debut, those upgrades have slowed down significantly in the past year as the studio shifted focus to Overwatch 2. 2020 was already a sparse year for the game, and now 2021 could be another full year without much for Overwatch fans to look forward to.
Blizzard and its owner, Activision, are in a tight spot. They want Overwatch 2 to come out and start bringing in money, but they can’t afford to rush things. Warcraft III: Reforged came out last January and was a mess, underdelivering on features and suffering from so many bugs that it was unplayable for many. Blizzard needs Overwatch 2 to launch smoothly and to be a fast hit, even if that means an uncomfortable, long wait for fans.
We’ll learn more about Overwatch 2 and Diablo IV during the online BlizzCon event that starts February 19.
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