Everyone loves battle royale games like PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite—including Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan.
And Overwatch fans have made it clear that they want a battle royale mode, too. Kaplan told Kotaku in a recent interview that Blizzard has discussed it, but that it’ll likely be too hard to implement correctly. Sure, they could slap something together and throw it into the Arcade, but that could go terribly wrong.
“A lot of times when I hear some of our fans pitch it, they’re like, ‘Oh, just put a card in the Arcade one day and that’s a battle royale mode,'” Kaplan told Kotaku. “And I’m like, ‘Fuck, that would be awesome.’ But there’s a lot of design and tech work to get us to that place and not just feel like a me too game.”
Overwatch’s heroes could be a problem, too. Overwatch is a game about heroes, he said, and that’s not a part of a battle royale game. In a game like PUBG, everyone is equal, separated only by their looting skills.
“Overwatch wasn’t designed to be a one vs. one,” Kaplan said. “Every hero’s not balanced against every other hero.”
And he’s right. Just think about it—how could a Symmetra player take on someone like Widowmaker? Likewise, how are you going to knock out a Pharah with a Lúcio?
Another issue Kaplan brought up to Kotaku is the maps. Compared to PUBG and Fortnite’s sprawling maps, Overwatch’s maps are tiny. One hundred players on an Overwatch map would be chaos. Blizzard would have to design new maps specifically for the mode—and that’s not a quick process.
Overwatch as a battle royale mode moves past just an Arcade game mode and closer to an entirely new game, Kaplan added.