Blizzard: A proper Overwatch campaign would be "like making a brand new game"

"That's a significant amount of work."

Overwatch's newest mission 'Retribution' is a four-player co-op romp through one of the key moments in the game's lore: the demise of Gabriel 'Reaper' Reyes and his covert group, Blackwatch.

Together with Uprising, this mission is being released today as part of the Overwatch Archives, a month-long event in which players can get a taste of what Blizzard can offer in terms of Overwatch PvE content.

But some players want more than that. A lot more. How likely is it that we'll see a fully-fledged Overwatch campaign? One that offers multiple missions, with a progression system and a more involved story arc.

We spoke with the Overwatch team to find out.

"When we conceived of Overwatch, it was really intended to be a PvP experience," game director Jeff Kaplan told Eurogamer. "I like to think that the core of our audience and we have a lot of players, over 35 million players, are here because they love the PvP experience that we're providing them.

"With that said, the team has a lot of fun making PvE experiences. We want to bring more story to the game and PvE experiences let us do that. PvE challenge is something that's very familiar to us at Blizzard. If you think of things like the StarCraft campaign on its most difficult modes, or World of Warcraft raiding is a great example of PvE challenge. Those are things that we love making and we love playing.

"Oftentimes it gets asked of us: why don't you guys just stop doing this other stuff and just make the PvE campaign for the game. We would love to and that's very compelling to us when we think about it, but that's probably like making a brand new game for us. That's a significant amount of work. I'm not sure our fans realise that it would constitute a brand new game. Whether or not we should be making that game? I think that's a great question and that's something we'll continue to take feedback and talk with one another about."

The Retribution mission and its accompanying Rialto map were in development for almost a year, Eurogamer understands. Does that mean, realistically, that we can expect a new Overwatch Archives mission about once per year?

"I wish we could do more of everything for everyone. I think Retribution's a great example of using the opportunities very smartly. We knew when we built Retribution that we were building a PvE-specific event, but when we made the map, we made this beautiful Rialto map, we said: is there a way we can make it work for PvE and PvP?

"I think Retribution is a good example of sometimes we can have our cake and eat it too. We can devote a lot of development resources to something that might seem primarily PvE, our PvP players will get something really great out of it too. Those are the types of opportunities we're going to be looking for."

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Chris Bratt

Chris Bratt

Contributor  |  bratterz

Chris is the host of People Make Games, a crowdfunded YouTube channel that tells cool stories about video games and how they're made.


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