The relatively slow release of Overwatch heroes has been a subject of discussions among the e-sports community lately. The increasing demand for character updates, made Jeff Kaplan, the Overwatch director, cast light on the matter.
Mr Kaplan was quoted as saying that for the time being, Blizzard does not have a clear idea as to how many new heroes are to be released in near future. He also added that the heroes release would most probably be narrowed down to 3 or 4 per year. Although that announcement came as a disappointment to the Overwatch community, Mr Kaplan put forward solid arguments in support of that decision.
Overwatch’s director drew a parallel between Overwatch and MOBA games. He said that while MOBAs have embraced the hero locking concept, that was not applicable to Overwatch, where players need to be aware of each hero capabilities. He also expressed his fears that the intense release of heroes may make them too similar to each other. In this respect, Blizzard preferred quality over quantity.
Kaplan’s announcement is expected to cause a wave of discontent among the most avid Overwatch fans. Some of them have already suspected that Blizzard counts on the Arcade Mode to keep players interested as it offers an immense number of playability options. Kaplan has hinted at the idea of the team supporting mods and custom maps editors. Still, that idea is not going to be converted into reality anytime soon. The question how Blizzard is going to keep players interested if the hero release is slowed down remains unsolved.
Proponents of the slowed hero release expressed their hopes that Blizzard will utilize the time for balancing the game and providing players with more competitive matches.
Currently, Overwatch has a total of 24 playable characters and mere weeks ago, Kaplan confirmed that Blizzard was close to releasing character number 25. The debut of Doomfist was expected to coincide with Overwatch’s Anniversary event, but the release was put off.
According to the latest information, the next big update is to take place by the end of Overwatch Season 4 and during Season 5. Various sources suggest that Doomfist will be an attack-minded character players can use for countering Reinhardt and Roadhog.
The news came shortly after the announcement that Overwatch has become the latest billion-dollar Blizzard’s franchise. Overwatch generated a substantial income during the in-game events and the release of the Legendary skins and limited-time cosmetic items. Although the heroes release is to be slowed down, Overwatch fans find a consolation in the in-game events and impatiently wait for the new character “on the horizon”.