Overwatch 1 will permanently shut down on October 2, confirms Blizzard
With Overwatch 2’s October 4 release drawing closer, Blizzard has announced that Overwatch 1 will conclude the same week as its sequel launches. Per Eurogamer, Blizzard’s original hero shooter will end service for good on October 2.
“Roughly a day before Overwatch 2 launches, we’re going to be taking down the Overwatch 1 servers,” said Blizzard’s product manager Jon Spector. “So that means, as a practical point, that October 2 really is the last day to go in and play Overwatch 1.”
Blizzard announced that Overwatch 1 would be phased out back in June, and said the original game would fuse with its successor much earlier than that. The studio has been taking gradual steps to sunset the game; players can no longer buy in-game loot boxes, for example, and the in-game currency from the first title will transfer over to the sequel.
Those who already have Overwatch 1 on their system will get Overwatch 2 as an update, while brand new players will see the latter game as a brand new title to download.
The original Overwatch released in 2016, becoming a critical and commercial juggernaut. During its six-year lifespan, the game has improved player behavior, added new heroes, and had plenty of news surrounding its loot box-focused shop.
Spector added that current players will be able to pre-download Overwatch 2, and that Blizzard will be doing “other things” to get players ready for the sequel. “We’ll share a kind of launch checklist with players ahead of things so that [players] have a smooth experience getting in on 4th October, when we launch.”
Overwatch 2, unlike its predecessor, will be a free-to-play experience with a seasonal release model and cross-progression functionality. You can read about the changes that come with going free-to-play, and how it pertains to post-launch Heroes, here.