The wait for Overwatch 2 is increasingly frustrating for Overwatch players. The decision to develop Overwatch 2 rather than grow and expand Overwatch over time has led to many frustrations for the fanbase. Not only did beloved game director Jeff Kaplan leave Blizzard, along with many other key Overwatch developers, but content releases have slowed dramatically. Contributing to Overwatch fan disappointment, a new rumor is spreading that Overwatch 2 is downgrading its visuals in order to support the game on mobile devices.
The rumor was recently summed up in a tweet from artist and animator BixelsWixels on Twitter. Their post provides three screenshot comparisons between Overwatch and Overwatch 2, specifically focusing on the Hero Torbjorn. BixelsWixels calls attention to what they describe as "simplified" designs in Overwatch 2 that remove a significant amount of detail in Torbjorn's hammer, riven gun, and opposing hand claw. This simplification, BixelWixel believes, is due to a "downgrade" in visuals that they attribute to Blizzard's choice to bring Overwatch 2 to mobile devices.
Overwatch 2 has not, it should be made clear, been announced for mobile devices. It hasn't been announced for any platforms, for that matter. However, BixelWixel also posts evidence that Overwatch 2 will be coming to mobile devices, including linking a job position for the Overwatch team titled "Project Manager, Mobile Project." A previous rumor from Dexerto's Richard Lewis also indicated Blizzard's intention to make a mobile version of Overwatch 2, though it had at the time been shelved due to the pandemic.
What the rumor entails is that Blizzard is now prioritizing a build of Overwatch 2 that scales between platforms that include mobile devices, next-generation consoles, and PC. The Nintendo Switch is also speculated as a planned platform, and has even been teased by a Blizzard developer. As a result, Blizzard's designs for Overwatch 2 are taking on a much more simplified style, as opposed to the improved detail previously shown during Overwatch 2 showcases.
It must be made clear that this rumor is heavily rooted in speculation and hearsay. While there is some reporting and evidence indicating a possible mobile version of Overwatch 2, the visual "downgrade" could be attributed entirely to Blizzard design decisions, unfinished content, and screenshots from the game's alpha.
All Overwatch players can do is wait and watch, as they've done so far. Scalability doesn't necessarily mean downgraded graphics, but on the other hand the departure of Kaplan, Overwatch 2's seeming delay, and the ongoing gender discrimination and harassment controversies surrounding Activision CEO Bobby Kotick and the company at large do deservedly demand a skeptical eye. Perhaps some answers will be forthcoming in 2022.
Overwatch 2 is currently in development.
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