Blizzard Announces Overwatch

Blizzard Announces Overwatch

For the first time in many years, Blizzard announced a new franchise today: Overwatch, a team-based multiplayer shooter with Pixar-like graphics.

The game looks great. It’s a PvP shooter with classes, very reminiscent of Team Fortress 2. Here’s the cinematic trailer:

And, more importantly, here’s gameplay footage from the newly-christened Overwatch, which really does look fantastic:

Here’s Blizzard describing the game in a press release:

The action of Overwatch takes place in a technologically advanced, highly stylised future earth. In a time of global crisis, an international task force of soldiers, scientists, adventurers, and oddities known as Overwatch had come together to restore peace to a war-torn world. After many years, the group’s influence waned, and it was eventually disbanded. Overwatch might be gone now . . . but the world still needs heroes.

With an emphasis on accessibility and pure fun, Overwatch brings Blizzard’s signature easy-to-learn, hard-to-master gameplay to the FPS genre. Harnessing the power of their hero of choice, players will join forces in teams of six and battle each other across a range of futuristic global locations, from the hologram-lit streets of London to a bazaar in the shadows of a high-tech Egyptian pyramid. Every battlefield is iconic and built to highlight each character’s unique abilities, and fights can shift from streets to rooftops to open skies within the span of a breath.

“Overwatch is our take on a vibrant, near-future universe with amped-up characters and action-packed team-based gameplay,” saidMike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “With every new Blizzard game, we look at our favourite aspects of a genre and put our own spin on things. Our goal with Overwatch is to create an awesome FPS experience that’s more accessible to a much wider audience while delivering the action and depth that shooter fans love.”

The heroes of Overwatch each bring their own distinct weapons and superabilities to bear. Here’s just a glimpse of the numerous heroes that will ultimately fill Overwatch’s rosters:

  • Tracer, a former British test pilot who shrugs at danger, can execute impossible acrobatic assaults thanks to her ability to teleport, drop energy bombs, and even reverse time.
  • Reinhardt, a hulking German soldier in battle armour, can charge great distances and pin his enemies to a wall or slam the ground with his rocket hammer to knock them off their feet.
  • Hanzo, a bow-wielding Japanese mercenary, has the ability to scale walls with his bare hands, fire off a tracking device that illuminates nearby enemies for his team, and unleash a huge spirit dragon that does grievous damage to all enemies in its path.
  • Symmetra, an Indian architech, manipulates light and energy to shield her allies and damage her enemies — and she can turn the tide of any battle by building a device that instantly transports her teammates to the front lines.

The beta will be out in 2015.

Overwatch is a reworked version of the PVP portions of Blizzard’s Titan, the long-in-development MMO that was overhauled in mid-2013. Despite reports earlier this year that Titan had been cancelled, the game was actually turned into Overwatch last year, according to a person familiar with the project.

It looks like they have kept some of the class names — like Reaper — that we reported on last month.


  • Bit disappointing their new game is basically UT x TF2. Was hoping for something more I guess.

      • This was my impression, with character skills stolen from like two dozen other game’s mechanics

    • Considering that this is rumoured to be the easily-packaged combat/PVP element out of project Titan, I’d guess that ‘something more’ was on the cards but scrapped.

      We’re pretty much looking at the salvaged remains of a better, more ambitious game.

      • More ambitious sure, but better? I get the feeling it’d have to be a pretty big lemon to get Blizzard to pull the plug and salvage the useful bits.

  • What an original clone! Bravo blizzard, I applaud. Stitched together various elements from other games. But before I judge let me get this game on my hands. It will probably offer a couple of hours of entertainment ! (Bitter me, maybe it will be something good.)

    • Quite bitter indeed. Blizzard creates something in an entirely new universe, new genre for them no less, and in come the comments about knocking off other games. Blizzard creates something new within their regular 3, in come comments about unable to create new IPs. What it is that you people want? The thing oozes colour and uniquely Blizzard flair.

      • I don’t think it really has anything to do with original IP or not, this marks the 3rd game in a row that Blizzard have announced that is closer to a clone than a genre game.

      • I think the frustration is that instead of making a REAL game, they’ve wasted their time trying to cash in on popular multiplayer games. TCG, MOBA, now TF2-clone.

        Hearthstone might now be dominating the mobile TCG space, and maybe Heroes of the Storm will take a chunk out of LOL/DOTAs playerbases, and I’m sure this generic TF2-clone bullshit will be high-quality as well.

        But Warcraft/Starcraft/Diablo they ain’t. It’s very annoying that their latest games all feel like jumping on the “hey this genre makes fucktonnes of money,” bandwagon.

        Where’s the Ghost, or Warcraft adventures? Sorry, they can’t be used for esports or F2P gouging. Are we ever going to see any reimagining of Lost Vikings, Blackthorne, Rock’n’Roll Racing style games that Blizzard knocked out of the fucking park? No, we get to see their very polished, highly-refined takes on the industry clone-spawning cancers of this gaming generation.

        It’s a disappointing waste of Blizzard’s talent, so no… I’m not enthusiastic, excited, or impressed.

          • I’m with ya.


            I long to hear that screamed out again against the tune of Peter Gunn… :'(

        • To be fair with the moba they announced plans of that quite a while ago but I can’t argue with the rest of your comment. I miss old school blizz games

        • I was sad about Ghost being cancelled as well at the time, but I’m fine about it now. MOBA’s have ruined me for other genres, while I still enjoy the occasional SP game nothing seems to quite compare to playing a complex team game with 4 or more friends with voice chat.

        • Warcraft Adventures was a point and click generic adventure with Blizzard story (Hello Day of the Tentacle or any other PnC game of the day), SC Ghost was a first person stealth shooter in a Blizzard universe (how many console games were doing this back then), if you want to make observations at least make them relevant.
          Warcraft and Starcraft werent the original daddies of RTS, Dune 2 was, and it was pretty god damn popular so much so that Blizzard thought it a cool design and did it their way.
          And sure as hell Diablo wasnt the first action rpg, most if not all computer RPG’s back in the day would allow button smashing if you wanted to let them.
          All Blizzard did with these Genres was bring their own slant and refined them in their own way.

          As for the whole TF2 clone… yep thats not a clone of a dozen other games. DOTA wasnt actually a mod for a Blizzard game either. And that first one, Hearthstone, because they have never done a TCG before ever, like all those cards my friends have, they are just my imagination.

          Excitement or cynicism, shouldnt people actually wait for the game to be out before labeling it a clone or a money grab?

      • The reason for being so bitter (generally with Blizzard’s recent games) is that I feel disappointed. A multimillion, great talented company with incredible franchises could deliver something else. Maybe a VR-Real Time Strategy/VR-MMO, or investing in future technology (like Everquest’s in-game character facial emotion that follows yours on the camera).
        Mind you, I love this company, but recently it just feels…dry. Maybe for me the whole video game scene is just dry of ideas, with very few bright exceptions. I wanted “project Titan” to be that exception. But maybe this is just me.

        • “I wanted “project Titan” to be that exception.” theres your problem, after the canceled Lord of the clans and StarCraft Ghost, you should never ever get yourself hyped up about a blizzard game until the damn game has a release date.

          I know its hard but when it comes to blizzard you have to ignore/take all rumors of a new game being developed with a grain of salt.

      • The thing oozes colour and uniquely Blizzard flair.
        You say ‘uniquely Blizzard flair’, I say ‘straight out of any Pixar movie in the past twenty years’.

  • Weird that all these TF2 clones are suddenly been marching out, it’s not like TF2 is anything new. Also looks like they’ve just cherry picked from every FPS and 3PS from the last couple of years

    • The game would have been in development for a very long time now so its not really that all of a sudden when you think about it 🙂

    • Yeah, really seems like TF2-ish games are the “flavour of the month”. MOBA’s are out and Multiplayer shooters are in! Or maybe I am just being hopeful.

      EDIT: That being said I do like the look of the game but am currently more interested in the new Bethesda game Battlecry.

  • Looks fun (and freakin’ gorgeous). This and Evolve are the two best-looking class shooters out there at the moment, I’d say.

  • WTF is wrong with you people? Its Blizzard. Have they ever, EVER let us down?
    If you’re so good at coming up with new game genres, then suggest some.

    • Diablo 3. Nobody said new genres, that would be near impossible in AAA, but you don’t have to create a new genre to be original, nothing in that video screams unique game play except for the fact that they are throwing mechanics from a dozen games into one melting pot.

      • So much this. Yea they have improved that game to a ridiculous degree but at launch it was nothing but a disappointment. I love blizzard but they are definitely not perfect

        • There was nothing wrong with D3 at launch. I guess people weren’t used to the grindy nature of Diablo 2. I won’t deny that the changes to D3 weren’t great, but as an old fan of the D2 grindy endgame, D3 originally wasn’t as bad as people continue to bitch about.
          Blizzard realised their target audience had changed drastically since the days of D2 and catered to it.

          • Clearly we played different games. Because aside from the server failures of the opening weeks and the lag affecting every action you took in the game, which also wasn’t in D2… D3 did its level best to cajole/coerce people into unwanted multiplayer, and fucked the loot tables so badly that it relied on trading instead of grinding, forcing players to the AH to progress past the handful of gear-check bosses. They in fact went so far as to limit the number of times you could create new instances of a solo-player game, to reduce the amount of grinding that was done, and turning /general chat back on every time you logged back into the game; forcing you to turn it off or be exposed to other people.

            In my first game I went over TWENTY LEVELS without seeing a single upgrade. That didn’t happen in D2. When I hit the gear-wall boss that I couldn’t beat after those twenty levels of no-drops, I went to the AH and bought my first gear. For a measly few thousand gold, I was soon decked out in gear that I was then unable to replace with dropped upgrades until the next fucking boss… at which point I went back to the AH to buy my next increment of power.

            D2 didn’t do that. That’s fucking broken balance, and D3 was broken in that way for a very long time. If you didn’t experience how much more fucked D3 was than D2, it’s ONLY because the RNG gods smiled upon you.

          • It wasn’t the grindy nature that turned me off the game at launch, it was the fact that they had the auction house that completely ruined that with the ability to buy gold and deck yourself out. That and the fact that the gear had completely random specs so it made that grind unnecessarily difficult

            Edit: or what transientmind just said, he put it much better than I did

          • Yeah, the RMAH was a bit of crap. But hey, I preferred your mannerism of response. Transientmind got his jimmies rustled

          • Egads! Someone reacting emotionally to extreme frustration and disappointment! Unheard of! Why sir, this is the Internet. With such an audience, you would expect one to comport themselves with more aplomb and serenity.

            [Edit: Also, I think you read more emotion into my comment than was actually there. It may be a regional dialect thing. Formatting is for emphasis, and everything else is disaffected Australian drawl.]

    • A ‘new’ genre is a strange and impossible thing to define. But how about Warcraft Adventures? Starcraft: Ghost? How about a sequel to Blackthorne or Rock’n’Roll Racing or The Lost Vikings… how about something that doesn’t scream, ‘F2P money-printing flavour of the month?’

      • They dropped the most exciting new project they had attempted in years just to rehash some old ideas in order to maximise profit from the lowest common denominator. *slow clap*

  • Gameplay aside, as usual blizzard makes a phenomenal cinematic trailer.
    The issue I had was that i kept being disappointed that it was for a game and not a kids film…I would watch the heck out of Overwatch.

    • This, I just logged in to say this, but you said it for me. I want this movie, or even better -TV Series!

      Also, disappointed this is getting so much negativity, how about you fuckers make your own games rather than bitching and moaning about game companies that aren’t making what you what as if you have ownership over them.

      These are COMPANIES they make games for money, and while it looks like they are ripping off ideas from other games, why not look at it from a perspective of “hey people enjoy playing these games with these elements, lets make a game with all of this stuff and people will love it!”

      I also want to say that I like the idea of making FPS games that might be a bit more accessible to younger audiences, nothing pisses me off more than seeing children playing Call of Shooty. (Nb: Some things actually do piss me off more, I just said “nothing” for dramatic effect)

      • thats the thing with blizzard, they dont make new types of games, they take what someone has already made and improve on the formula just like they did with RTS, MMO and now card games with hearthstone and most likely MOBAs with HotS ( if i actually cared about card games and mobas i would be playing HotS and HS)

  • Cool. What’s next, Blizzard? A menu-based empire-building game with massive alliances, PVP, and horny-teen-clickbait banner ads? No, that’s unfair… they’re better than that. I’m thinking tower defence or candy crush clone. Maybe they’ll reinvent the physics-based object-flinging-to-destroy-structures genre.

    FUCK’S SAKE BLIZZARD. If you’re going to make derivative-but-refined versions of popular games, go fucking work on reimagining XCOM. Emulate Valiant Hearts. Revitalize Assassin’s Creed, or draw inspiration from Far Cry 3.

    Anything but this trend of played-out multiplayer-only, online-only, esports-friendly/F2P-lucrative crap.

  • Yeah, just another crappy clone.

    -What’s with that first person perspective in an FPS. Been done to death. Seriously, get some more perspectives Blizzard it’s 2014!
    -Guns… B-O-R-I-N-G. I saw them being used in a movie once.
    -That Dwarf – Hobbit rip off

    It can’t be that hard to spend those big WoW bucks on a game that has nothing in it that I have ever seen before. Blizztards.

    Edited for punctuation, spelling and extra salt.

    • Swing and a miss! Keep at it, maybe you’ll get the point someday.

      …Or I’ll hand-deliver it to you:
      It’s not that they’re copying a genre or elements of it. I don’t think you’d see many complaints if they decided to copy the turn-based-tactics/strategy genre in the way of XCOM, or if they decided to copy the Adventure game genre. A Skyrim-clone by Blizzard would pretty much send tens of millions of Blizzard fans to the laundry to change their pants within seconds.

      It’s that they’re copying a BAD genre. A played-out, exploitative genre devoid of depth or emotion, jumping onto the mindless F2P cash-cow bandwagon. Blizzard are going to build an industry-leading, high-polish, tightly-balanced entry in a genre that doesn’t need it.

      • I think I get ya.
        They are polishing a golden turd and throwing it on the pile with all the others. It’s golden and it’s polished but it’s still a turd in a pile of turds.

        My posts point was really only to give people a giggle but some actual crankiness may have crept in. It’s like my mother-in-law says when I make fun of her, “Every joke has an element of truth, Slumpy (not my actual name)”

        I would need to change my pants after the announcement of a Blizzard Skyrim but after sitting down to read the comments about Blizzrim(?) in my clean pants, I would find that all they said was; This is just a rip off of Skyrim with Blizzard styling.

        Don’t you find that the comments section of every game announcement is full of these and that it is getting a little old?

        Edit: for some reason I underlined instead of italicis… itallicised… made the word lean over.

        • I think those voices would be fewer and quieter. 😉

          I like your hustle, you turn a nice phrase.

    • Odds are pretty good they did, based on the information Jason put at the bottom of the article – apparently a lot of other aspects got moved over. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the combat module of Titan completely transplanted into something packageable on its own.

  • The dwarfs beard looks like a set of arse cheeks. I dunno if one would ever intentionally groom their beard that way.

    • Coupled with his hard-ish to pronounce name, I suspect he’s going to wind up being ubiquitously nicknamed “Buttbeard”.

  • What a cynical bunch comments.

    Personally I think this looks incredible. By far the most original FPS I’ve seen in years.
    Bravo Blizzard. It looks like you’ve managed to inject some real personality into the genre.

    • Original? I hardly think so. The reason people are being cynical is because the “inspiration” is being worn very openly on their sleeve. You’ve got people banging on turrets to construct them, teleporters that are dropped and then fold out from two halves, a healing beam that attaches to another player, sticky defenses and call outs that are all very similar to TF2. There’s a character with a shield that looks like it came straight from Fuse, a character doing vaults and mantling like Brink and the standard Sniper, Heavy, Medic, Scout, Demolitionist, Engineer, Soldier and Spy classes with a few wild cards thrown in.

      Granted, it’s super difficult to come up with something original that’s fun given how many FPS arena games have come and gone but if you’re going to use ideas from other games, make sure you take the labels off first.

  • When did we all get so cynical?

    This looks pretty cool to me 🙂
    It oozes charm, has a great style, and looks like it’ll be a lot of fun.
    I can’t wait to give it a go, personally 🙂
    Clone or not 😛

    I don’t understand why people are complaining about a game that looks fun.
    If you consider it a clone game, great, you can stick with the “original” game.
    You don’t have to buy it after all.
    Just remember that pretty much every game these days though is inspired by games before it.

    To claim originality you’d need to go back to the birth of each respective genre.
    Every shooter ever is a glorified clone of Wolfenstein.
    Every sports game ever is a glorified clone of Pong.

    You lot should be ashamed.
    Complaining about a game that was just announced and already looks great.
    ASHAMED! 😛

    • Copy paste from above:

      It’s not that they’re copying a genre or elements of it. I don’t think you’d see many complaints if they decided to copy the turn-based-tactics/strategy genre in the way of XCOM, or if they decided to copy the Adventure game genre. A Skyrim-clone by Blizzard would pretty much send tens of millions of Blizzard fans to the laundry to change their pants within seconds.

      It’s that they’re copying a BAD genre. A played-out, exploitative genre devoid of depth or emotion, jumping onto the mindless F2P cash-cow bandwagon. Blizzard are going to build an industry-leading, high-polish, tightly-balanced entry in a genre that doesn’t need it.

      Blizzard are going to make a great-looking game with tight controls, balance, and its own signature flair, and I won’t want to play it because I’m so very over online PVP class-based lobby shooters, and have been for years. They’re joining a party I already left and don’t care to return to.
      The only way I could be less excited to hear about a new Blizzard game is if they made a MOBA. And they’re already doing that.

      Ergo: Disappointment. Expressed disappointment.

      • Good for you.

        But I love them.

        Hopefully Blizzard makes another genre of game that you can enjoy instead.

      • It’s a warn out genre, for you.
        I haven’t played very many games like this.
        The only two that come to mind are Unreal Tournament 3 and Brink, which don’t look very similar anyway.

        It hasn’t even been confirmed as a F2P game.
        It could very well be, but there are ample examples out there of how to do F2P well.
        You yourself are a fan of Warframe, correct?

        Just because you don’t like the genre doesn’t mean you have to be disappointed.
        I don’t like MMO games, but I’m not disappointed when a new MMO is announced, even if it’s by a developer I love.

        Case in point: I love Square-enix.
        Final Fantasy XIV looks great!
        I’m never gonna play it, but it looks really good!

        I think Overeatch looks great, and am looking forward to trying it out for myself, and judging it off more than just it’s announcement trailer.

        Condemning a game by its announcement is like telling a pregnant women that her baby is ugly.
        There’s nothing to base it off except for that you don’t like babies.

        Like I said, it’s an announcement.
        I don’t see the point of getting disappointed by an announcement.
        Not being interested in it is fine.
        Being disappointed by it seems stupid to me.

    • I think it’s a lot of what Transient said, it’s not necessarily that it looks bad or thinking it will be bad, it’s just not what we want from Blizzard, they have so much talent and have done such amazing work in the past and they are just throwing all of that at flavour of the moment, money grubbing, derivative games.

      • My teachers used to ride me pretty hard and give me a rough time when I got like… Bs, at school. Because they knew I should be getting As They could see I was being lazy, or safe and predictable when I could do so much more, and it frustrated them. That’s how this feels.

      • Who are we? Do you mean you? I am guessing what you and transient would actually want is probably pretty different, the only thing you both agree on is that you don’t want this.
        However there are plenty of people (me included) who thinks this looks totally rad.
        This isn’t for you, and that’s ok… but why add more bile to the internet for no reason? what do you achieve from it?
        anyways best of luck
        -xoxo gossip girl

  • People bitching about it being too much like tf2, but in reality it is one of the “limbs” of titan. Titan is a MMO there are different classes in a MMO. Blizzard are about classes (WoW, Diablo) so why are people crying about this, Didn’t people want something fresh? I Guess blizzard should of released battlefield 6 or Black Ops 12.

  • Pretty much what I expected of Blizzard going forward as a company. I think we’re going to continue seeing less AAA games from them and more F2P microtransaction heavy multiplayer games.

    Can’t say I’m terribly interested in this. The cinematic trailer was pretty cool though.

  • So uh is it actually FTP or is that just what people are assuming?

    Also will it come to consoles or is it PC only?

    • its what people are assuming because of all the info so far just feels like it would be a F2P game like TF2… unless they add a campaign or proper botmatch mode

  • Looks like Blizzard are still Salty about DoTA2 and are trying to steal Tf2 fanbase from Valve XD

  • dunno why everyone complains about “ripping off”. in such a large range of games now of course youre going to rip things off cus its already been done before. its just a matter of how well they do pull it off.

    besides, for example, shadow of mordor borrowed ALOT of gameplay elements from other games, but everyone loved it because it pulled it off so well to create an enjoyable experience.

    • People are bad at putting their feelings into words, especially when they’re part of an overwhelmingly large group of people giving feedback. They say rip off but it’s sort of deeper than that.
      Transientmind up there put what they’re feeling into more accurate words. The short version is that it’s not so much that they’re ripping other games off it’s that they’re making a seemingly uninspired derivative entry in an already over-populated genre that’s continuing an alarming trend of Blizzard making games are tailored to the business strategy.
      It’s not that the games are terrible, quite the opposite, it’s just that there isn’t really any need for their more recent stuff like Overwatch. For a lot of us long time Blizzard fans it feels like Battle.Net is going to be a mobile platform a few years from now. Just a collection of app level games with Blizzard flare. Times change and I can move on, but it still sort of stings to see Overwatch get made while they pass on making the more ambitious stuff that caused us to love them in the first place. They used to break ground in the industry, even when they walked others paths they found new ways to lead the genre, now I can’t help but feel like they phone it in and rely on the huge community they have to make anything they do successful.

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