Overwatch: What updates and events are coming next?
A new Overwatch hero is here and the Lunar New Year event is behind us. Overwatch content rolls out continuously—events, heroes, and maps come out every few months, with hero updates dotted in between.
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.
What events are upcoming?
Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan confirmed in January that the Overwatch Uprising event will return for a second year. Last year, the lore-based event started in April with a popular co-op brawl that put players back in time during an important Overwatch mission. Kaplan said the Overwatch Uprising's original brawl will return, giving players that missed it the chance to give it a go.
All cosmetics will return—available at a discounted price—when Overwatch Archives arrives on April 10. New items are expected, too. Kaplan mentioned that one of the Shimada brothers—so Genji or Hanzo—will get a sweet new skin. Alongside the original brawl, Blizzard has been teasing a new mission in the Overwatch Archive, which will likely feature Overwatch's shadow sector called Blackwatch. Information is expected to be revealed in the lead-up to the event, with a video debuting on the Overwatch League stream on April 4. We'll know more about the event then.
Kaplan also confirmed that Blizzard will celebrate Overwatch's two-year anniversary this year. The first year's anniversary brought out a ton of new skins and the ever-popular dance emotes. More than 100 new items were added to the event loot boxes, alongside three new arena maps: Castillo, Black Forest, and Necropolis. Blizzard hasn't said what it'll do to celebrate Overwatch's two year anniversary, but Kaplan did say the dance emotes will return. Overwatch's anniversary is on May 24, but the event could come a bit earlier.
Are new features on the way?
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."
New heroes will continue to get released every few months; the pattern is typically every three months or so. Overwatch's tank-like support, Brigitte, was just launched earlier in March, so it'll be a while before a new hero gets announced.
We'll keep this guide to Overwatch's future updated as Blizzard announces more events and heroes.