Overwatch has officially launched worldwide for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC today, but developer Blizzard Entertainment has already set its sights on the multiplayer shooter's first content update in June. Game director Jeff Kaplan has revealed that the game's Competitive Mode, which was pulled for rework in April, will be available in June in the game's first big content update.
"A lot has changed," Kaplan said when asked about Competitive Mode and what has changed since the closed beta during a Blizzard-hosted Facebook Q&A. "Competitive mode is the current focus of the Overwatch team, and it's the most important thing for us to add to the game right now."
Overwatch's Competitive Play mode was recently added to the game during the closed beta in April. The mode allowed experienced players who reached level 25 to 'rank up' through a series of divisions and tiers in month-long seasons. Players can also view their worldwide standings and could also receive progression rewards such as new sprays, player icons and character voice lines. The mode went back into development following the closed beta and wasn't available in the game's recently wildly successful open beta.
"Our first big content update for Overwatch will be Competitive mode. I don't want to promise an exact date, because I'm sure whatever date I say right now will be wrong," Kaplan said. "My rough commitment, or 'not-commitment,' would be sometime toward the end of June—middle to end of June. We want to have Competitive mode in. We already have it in internally, in fact we were playing it this weekend and we're starting to get a feel for it."
According to Kaplan, changes to the mode include lengthened seasons that will probably run for about three months instead of the originally planned one month. Players can expect seasons to run for two and a half months followed by several weeks off, he says. The developer will also change how frequently Sudden Death appears as well.
Blizzard also plans to release a new season of animated shorts, digital comics and an upcoming graphic novel to continue expanding the rich lore of the Overwatch world. The first season of animated shorts ended with a video on the grizzled ex-Overwatch leader Soldier 76. The next season will feature the tank hero Roadhog.
More information about the update will be revealed closer to its release, Kaplan said.