Overwatch 2 is finally here. After several delays and controversies, the highly anticipated sequel to Blizzard's hero-based team shooter just held its first closed alpha test, with a playable beta test for PC gamers launching in late April.
After months of radio silence, Overwatch game director Aaron Keller posted an update on Thursday and confirmed that a handful of players will be getting their hands on a new alpha version of Overwatch 2. Keller clarified that the testing period will be available only to "Blizzard employees, Overwatch League pros, and a few other select groups." Keller added that a "forthcoming beta will launch in all regions for a bigger, but still closed, audience."
According to Keller, the goal of Overwatch 2's extensive testing phase is to test "new features, content, and systems" before Blizzard moves on to "stress-testing the servers with a wider player base in future Beta tests."
In addition to what we've already discussed, Keller revealed a ton of Overwatch 2 info that should excite fans for what's to come. Case in point, Blizzard is promising everything from hero reworks to details about the shift from 6v6 to 5v5 gameplay, among others.
Keller's latest statement shouldn't come off as a surprise for anyone who's been keeping a close eye on the scene. Case in point, fans spotted an Overwatch 2 beta patch on Battle.net last February, just days after an earlier report claimed that Blizzard had been having "secret meetings" with Overwatch content creators. But, the biggest news here isn't that Overwatch 2 is getting a beta test soon, but Blizzard's decision to split the game into two halves.
Blizzard originally focused on the PvE content of Overwatch 2 in its earlier announcements, much to the excitement of fans. The sequel's biggest draw was never its gameplay, but the deep lore. The promise of a narrative-driven game experience was what effectively made Overwatch 2 such a highly anticipated game. After Blizzard's latest update for Overwatch 2, we can only imagine how disappointed some of the fans are. To make matters worse, Blizzard did not clarify how exactly it plans to roll out the PvE and PvP elements of Overwatch 2.
In November, Blizzard announced the delay for Overwatch 2 and Diablo IV, hinting that both games will remain in development until at least 2023. However, the latest development suggests that Blizzard could release at least the PvP part of the sequel later this year with the PvE component coming later.