Blizzard Entertainment has released an Overwatch 2 video update with game director Aaron Keller, in which he announces that the first player-versus-player closed beta test for the November 2019-announced sequel will begin in late April. Sign-ups are available at PlayOverwatch.com.
Get the video update and full transcript below.
“Hello, heroes of Overwatch.
“The team has been making great progress on the development of Overwatch 2. Daily playtests and feedback have given us confidence that we’re creating something you’re going to love.
“At the same time, we want to get the game in your hands soon, which leads to why I’m here today. But before I get to that, I want to thank our players for your continued support.
“We recognize we haven’t communicated well, haven’t kept you up to date, and, honestly, we’ve let you down when it comes to delivering Overwatch content. We hear you, and we’re committed to more continual updates on all things Overwatch 2.
“This starts with my update to you today. Based on your feedback, we’ve taken some time to rethink Overwatch 2 with the singular goal of ensuring it is a living game, serving our players with exciting content on a regular basis.
“And we are shifting our plan for Overwatch 2 to enable you to play it sooner. This starts with us decoupling the PvP features of the game from the PvE systems so we can bring you PvP sooner. This includes the new 5v5 team format, new heroes, new maps, the new Push game mode, significant hero updates and reworks, and many new gameplay features, including, for example, a new ping system. When you put it all together, this represents the most new content we have brought to our game since launch.
“Let me take a moment to share how we got here. A few years ago, we made the call to focus our team’s development efforts almost entirely on Overwatch 2. And as development of the sequel stretched on, it meant that the live game received less focus. It meant that we were no longer delivering on one of our core values: To support our game by updating it and delivering content on a regular basis.
“Today’s change in approach enables us to deliver frequent PvP content to the live game, with the goal of far exceeding Overwatch‘s previous rate of content release, and making the live game the most vibrant and dynamic PvP experience anywhere.
“In that spirit, I’d like to share that we are beginning Overwatch 2 PvP testing this week, with a closed alpha containing many of these PVP features, as well as a new hero, Sojourn.
“The alpha will be run under NDA and be limited to Blizzard employees and key partners, like Overwatch League pros as they get ready for the next season.
“I’m also excited to announce that we will be opening the first closed PVP beta in late April so we can start testing this content with more players. If you’re interested in participating in this upcoming beta, please visit PlayOverwatch.com.
“Following that first beta test, we are planning additional public PvP beta testing later in the year, which will include new features, new maps, and, yes, new heroes.
“I want to come back to how we started this conversation, improving our communication to all of you. We know you are eager for more information. As I stated earlier, starting now, we will be communicating much more frequently about our plans. During and after each beta, we’ll share updates about what we’re learning, changes we’re considering, and what we’ll look to test next.
“We look forward to working with you to make Overwatch 2 amazing together. This is going to be an exciting year for Overwatch, and we’re looking forward to taking this journey together.
“Thank you for your dedication, your passion, and your patience. I can’t wait to see players in our alpha and future beta builds, and, of course, the entire team can’t wait to get Overwatch 2 in your hands.
“Thanks for watching. Be good to each other, and we’ll talk soon.”