Blizzard has updated fans on the progress of Overwatch 2, including detailing an open beta for the PvP side of the upcoming shooter.
The update came along with a video from game director Aaron Keller. Keller opened the update with an apology, admitting that the team hadn’t been communicating updates well. He pledged to change that starting with this video, and also revealed the team has shifted their plans somewhat.
Specifically, Blizzard has decided to “decouple” the PvP side of the game from the previously-announced story mode PvE side. The team hope that this will get the game into players’ hands sooner. As a part of that, the game is actually already set to go into testing in the next few weeks.
This testing will start with a closed alpha, which is already underway with Blizzard employees, Overwatch pros and “a few other select groups”. Then, in late April, a closed beta will kick off on PC with a larger group of testers. Potential testers can sign up on the Overwatch 2 website to apply for this beta.
The beta will include the new rebalanced 5v5 team structure, a new ping system and a new mode in Push. There’ll be four new maps for testers to try including Circuit Royal, Midtown, New Queen Street and Colosseo. They’ll also get to try the hero reworks for Orisa, Doomfist, Bastion and Sombra. Finally, the beta will also give players the first try playing as the newest hero to the Overwatch roster, Sojourn.
Players will be granted access to the beta in phases, and of course there’ll regular updates from the team as the Overwatch 2 beta progresses. The final Overwatch 2 game doesn’t have a release date just yet, but it’s not expected to arrive until 2023.