Blizzard Entertainment provided a bit of a surprise by announcing its hero shooter, Overwatch, is headed to the PS4 and Xbox One in addition to the PC and it will be a full-priced game at launch, as covered by Inquisitr. The question of post-release DLC has been left unanswered until a Monday update revealed new maps and heroes will be free.
In a developer update video released to YouTube, Overwatch Game Director Jeff Kaplan dropped the details on the direction the game will take following its planned 2016 release. The game will arrive in the first half of the year with eight maps and 21 heroes. Additional content will be free.
“We have ideas for additional maps and heroes that we’d like to add to the game,” game director Jeff Kaplan explained in the video. “So we thought about this and we decided the best way to add them to the game is to patch them in as free content and not as DLC. Hopefully that alleviates some concern that people have.
“We’re excited. Some of these heroes we’ve event hinted at. For those of you are paying attention to our maps, there’s some Easter Eggs,” he said, providing hints about future content.
Complaints about DLC being developed in conjunction with a full game release are common among the game community, but it doesn’t look like that is the case for Overwatch. Aside from being free, Blizzard’s plans for future content are not fully laid out.
“We don’t have an exact timeline of when new heroes will be added to the game – how soon after launch or how many. That’s something we really need to get a feel for what’s healthy for the game,” Kaplan said before concluding. “We don’t have a lot of specific details there. We just know that when we patch a new hero into the game we want it to be free.”
Other topics covered in the developer update included details on new features and options that will be added to Overwatch based on feedback from the current beta. An option to turn off in-game music is already being tested internally and will be added in a future update to the game. Meanwhile, background sound will continue when players have alt-tabbed away from it, like other Blizzard titles.
A “killfeed” to show which players have died will eventually be implemented, but it is a lower priority item at the moment. The team at Blizzard is still debating on where to include it in the user interface and how much information to show. This will be an item that will take several iterations to fully implement.
Kaplan admits the end of round card system needs some rework. New cards are being added for the objective score, for example, but this is something only the attacking team can earn currently. The development team is investigating more ways for players to be recognized for contributing to team play beyond just those who get loads of kills.
Don’t expect many changes to the scoreboard, as Blizzard is largely content on where it is now. The “On Fire” system will have refinements coming as Kaplan wants it to be a more accurate indicator of who is doing well in-game.
Finally, the killcam system will get an option to allow players to always skill it. Blizzard knows some players are unhappy with seeing themselves die twice in a row. However, the development team’s intent was to provide a way for players to learn and improve by seeing any mistakes they made or learn new tricks from opponents. An option does exist to skip killcams by pressing the escape button, though.
Overwatch will be available in multiple editions for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC. The consoles will get the Origins Edition for $59.99. A $39.99 digital-only edition will be available for the PC and all three platforms will have the $129.99 Limited Collector’s Edition as an option.
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[Image via Blizzard]