With Overwatch’s Halloween Terror event out of the way, players are readying themselves for the next scheduled event. Likely, it’ll be the Winter Wonderland seasonal celebration—should Blizzard follow the schedule it’s been using for the past few years.
Blizzard has a habit of re-launching Overwatch’s seasonal events, like Halloween Terror, Summer Games, and Lunar New Year. New content typically comes along with these events, but Blizzard also brings back old skins and cosmetics for a discounted price. So what’s next on the docket? We’ve got you covered.
What’s coming next?
Winter Wonderland is the next seasonal event on the Overwatch schedule. In 2017, the winter event kicked off on Dec. 12 and continued until Jan. 1. We can expect a similar schedule this year, though Blizzard hasn’t made an official announcement about the event’s start time. A month after the Winter Wonderland event, Blizzard typically brings out the Lunar New Year celebration, which started on Feb. 8 last year. Like the winter event before it, the seasonal celebration adds new skins and playable content to the game.
Blizzard just added a new hero, Ashe, to Overwatch—so we’re still a ways off from the next one. But it’s never too early to start speculating. Another potential hero was introduced during Ashe’s debut in McCree’s Reunion short. Echo, the mysterious robot hidden in the Route 66 payload, will likely join Overwatch, but not as hero 30.
Are new features on the way?
Blizzard debuted a spectator system during the Overwatch World Cup, which allowed players to use a special Overwatch client to watch games as they happened. The system let players control the in-game camera for the Overwatch World Cup as if they were professional observers. Blizzard called it the Overwatch World Cup viewer, but it’s actually much more than that. It’s offline now, but Blizzard intends to bring it back so that fans can watch professional matches how they want.
Beyond competitive play, Blizzard said it will eventually be available so that players can re-watch their own games using the replay functionality. It has the potential to be a game-changer for professional and casual players alike.
The Overwatch development team is interested in giving Overwatch players the ability to create custom maps, but it’s still a long way out. Kaplan said in September 2016 that Blizzard “would love” to make more tools available to the community.
“Our main issue has been that we made a brand new engine for Overwatch,” Kaplan wrote. “The tools and tech are not in a state where it is easy to make them public facing. We keep talking about ways to get a road map to get us there someday. Both our design and tools team are very interested in trying to make this happen someday. But this concept would not happen anytime soon.”
A mini map for spectators of esports tournaments may be coming soon, but Blizzard won’t ever add one to the regular gameplay interface. “Philosophically we were opposed to adding a mini map to the HUD for gameplay reasons,” Kaplan said in February 2017. “We wanted to reserve ‘enemy awareness’ moments for certain hero abilities like Widowmaker’s ultimate or Hanzo’s Sonar Arrow.”
We’ll keep this guide to Overwatch’s future updated as Blizzard announces more events and heroes.