Overwatch has had a handful of sizeable patches in the past, but the next major one — which presumably will include new hero Ashe — is going to necessitate a full reinstall of the game.
Blizzard chalks the inconvenience up to under-the-hood changes that go deeper than just a fresh coat of paint.
"The next major patch will have some pretty fundamental changes to the game client," a Blizzard customer support rep said on Overwatch's forums. "The number of back-end changes we're putting in is substantial enough that we can't just patch over the current content efficiently. As a result, when the next patch comes out, the client will fully reinstall itself to handle these changes. We know that this isn't ideal for people on metered connections, so hopefully this announcement helps you prepare for this coming update."
On the upside, Overwatch's file size isn't particularly huge. Unlike most modern triple-A games — which often clock in at over 50GB — Overwatch has historically weighed in at a svelte 13GB.
Kotaku reached out to Blizzard for more information about what exactly is changing so fundamentally as to necessitate this, but the company was not able to provide any additional information before publish time. My guess? This is about B.O.B. He's a big, effortlessly charming robo-boy, and the game's old foundations just can't contain him.
Overwatch's next major patch does not currently have a release date, but parts of it, such as new hero Ashe, are in testing on the PC public test server right now.