The man in charge of Overwatch says he’d love to incorporate a battle royale mode. Unfortunately Jeff Kaplan says a couple of major barriers mean it might not happen soon.
Calls for such a mode – in which a huge number of players compete in a last man standing clash – have followed the success of battles royale in games such as Fortnite. Overwatch director Kaplan told Kotaku he’s discussed the idea with colleagues many times but found it’s not currently practical to do so.
One problem is that games like Fortnite Battle Royale are specifically designed to have characters be relatively well balanced, meaning victory is much more about player skill than having the right matchups. Overwatch characters are much more specialised with an emphasis on combining varying attributes in teams. Kaplan says the game wasn’t designed so that any pairing of two characters would offer relative balance. That means a battle royale mode might have to restrict the range of characters on offer to give players a fighting chance.
Another issue is that the game space in Overwatch is relatively small, both in terms of the physical space that’s simulated in the game and the area tracked by the system during conflict. That offers fewer opportunities for the type of long-range attacks that have proven popular in some battle royale modes.
Kaplan hasn’t given up on the idea, but says the amount of work involved means it might be more viable as a standalone game than an additional mode.