Tomorrow, October 2nd, is the last full day during which the Overwatch 1 severs will be online. Blizzard’s first-person shooter will switch off at 8am PT on the 3rd (4pm BST) ahead of the release of the free-to-play Overwatch 2 on October 4th.
How do we feel about that?
It was announced long ago that Overwatch would effectively be replaced by its sequel, and the timings for the server switch-over were announced two weeks ago, so this isn’t news. It simply felt worth noting now that it’s imminent.
Blizzard’s team shooter launched in 2016, which means you’ve had six years to play with its maps, modes and hero characters. Many of those things will carry over to the sequel – perhaps too many, given Ed and Liam found the followup too familiar during public beta. Nevertheless, everything has been tweaked and re-balanced and refreshed so it’s no longer the same game.
I feel like an old man crumbling to dust everytime I say this, but the switch-over means that Overwatch 1, a game that a lot of people paid for, will no longer be playable. Sure, as a live service game maybe it had already changed beyond recognition after six years anyway, but it’s still weird to me that no one seems to mind that it’s going away. (Or maybe they do mind but I haven’t seen it and we’re in for a decade of petitions requesting Overwatch Classic servers.)
Since the internet sometimes operates at higher registers, let’s be clear: I’m not outraged here. I am also willing to accept maybe you shouldn’t listen to me, a skeleton holding a USB stick containing installers for Counter-Strike betas 1, 2, 3, 5.2, 6 and 7, in case I ever want to revisit cs_tire for some reason. (Yes, I’ve also got installers for the patches to the CD version of Half-Life 1 that each CS beta requires.)
Instead of stomping my feet, I’m therefore throwing the floor open to you. Should we just accept this is the way of things and welcome Overwatch 2’s glorious free-to-play future, or are you as weirded out by the ephemerality of modern games as I am?