Jeff Kaplan says Overwatch 2 isn’t as “controversial as it sounds”

Creating a sequel built upon a new campaign may not be as risky as we think.

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Image via Blizzard Entertainment

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Overwatch 2 is a sequel in name, but it also has a nearly symbiotic relationship with its predecessor. Both installments of the franchise will share a PvP space and skins and progress in the original title will carry over to Overwatch 2. The new game’s calling card is a lore-infused, PvE storytelling experience, and its multiplayer advancements will also reach the original title. And according to Jeff Kaplan, that’s “not as controversial as it sounds.”

The game director made this remark during an interview with The Washington Post. Kaplan defended Overwatch 2 being a true sequel rather than a PvE-focused expansion, based on the sheer volume of content the game will bring.

“This isn’t just DLC or an expansion,” Kaplan said. “I play a lot of games. I can’t think of a single DLC or expansion of this magnitude.”

Related: What do the characters in Overwatch 2 look like?

Overwatch 2’s main appeal is its PvE experience, drenched in lore about the characters’ past, present, and future. The heroes in the franchise feel human and are easy to identify with, and it’s hard not to feel the urge to dive deep into Overwatch’s compelling universe. And Kaplan is counting precisely on the franchise’s fascinating narrative as a flagship for the sequel.

“There’s so many people who are deeply engaged with our characters because we’ve put these heroes in the forefront,” Kaplan said. “They would love to engage with the characters in a way that is a little bit less high pressure to them. So we felt like, you know, if we could deliver one really massive feature to our fans, it would be to blow out the co-operative side of the game.”

Blizzard already releases periodic doses of lore in different forms. Earlier this week, Mercy was the star of a short story titled “Valkyrie,” which gave fans a glimpse of Dr. Ziegler’s internal struggles. Overwatch 2’s announcement was coupled with a thrilling eight-minute cinematic called “Zero Hour,” which showed a much-anticipated reunion between many of the franchise’s star characters.

Even PvE story missions were a tried-and-true storytelling experience. They form a visceral part of the Archives events, which pit players in three cooperative missions that encompass key events in the Overwatch universe.

Overwatch 2 promises to expand on the premise of blending gameplay and storytelling, satisfying lore-hungry fans. Kaplan said that the game will contain “a complete story experience like you would expect from any triple-A blockbuster game.”

It’s unclear if the price will be that of a triple-A blockbuster game as well. There’s plenty of uncertainty about Overwatch 2’s business model, but there’s also plenty of time to figure it out. Kaplan said that talks about pricing haven’t started yet and the game is still in the early stages of development with no release date in mind. But he assures that all talks about the business model will be focused on one thing: creating the best player experience.