The original Overwatch will no longer be playable after its sequel releases later this year in early access, according to Overwatch 2 director Aaron Keller, who took part in an AMA on reddit yesterday and confirmed some new details regarding the sequel, including what Blizzard has planned regarding its current live service for its team-based multiplayer franchise. Keller confirmed that when Overwatch 2 launches this October, it will replace the current service, a solid indication that the original game will no longer be playable after its sequel surfaces in the fall. Blizzard is reportedly doing this to retain a unified playerbase, and players will be asked to update to Overwatch 2 if they try to play the original game after the sequel launches. Overwatch 2 will be free to play unlike its predecessor.
When the sequel was originally announced back in August last year, Blizzard claimed that Overwatch and Overwatch 2 players would be able to play side-by-side when playing the same game modes.
The original plan allowed Overwatch players to play on the brand-new Overwatch 2 maps and as the new heroes. Then-game director Jeff Kaplan said it was a “shared multiplayer environment where no one gets left behind.” In other words, multiplayer PvP would have been possible across the two titles.