At BlizzCon 2017, Blizzard unveiled a brand new map coming to the team-based shooter Overwatch called “Blizzard World,” which is a theme park inspired by the universes of other games from the publisher and developer. The area was originally set to arrive “early this year,” but if game director Jeff Kaplan has his way, then the forthcoming map and all of its content will arrive before January closes out.
This much was revealed in an Overwatch forum post, as Kaplan replied to a user who had been wondering exactly when they should expect the game’s new Blizzard World map and its skins to go live. In response to the query, the game director said, “Blizzard World and the new loot box items release early this year. Between you and me, I am hoping before the end of the month. But ‘stuff’ can happen.”
Following his post on the Overwatch forums, Kaplan was then pushed by other fans to explain exactly what kind of “stuff” could cause Blizzard World to not be available in January. The game director explained that “the map is very close,” but went on to state a couple of ongoing problems that have persisted due to its sheer size and scope, as the new area is “the map that has the most stuff in it by far.”
Some issues that could cause the fresh Overwatch map and its contents to get a delay include the discovery of errors that involve Torbjorn turrets being destroyed when placed on certain rides, in addition to several invisible collision zones need ongoing work so players won’t get stuck in certain places. Kaplan also said, “We had to do a ton of optimization on Blizz World,” due to its scale, but “getting it to run fast is super important to us.”
Wrapping the matter up, Kaplan posted later on in the thread that Blizzard World and its new loot box items will drop at the same time when they are eventually released. The new balance changes should come shortly after that, but the Overwatch director said that’s “not a promise.” Interestingly enough, other than the Blizzard-styled skins, most of the new loot box items are not related to the map at all, but there will be a “whole range of items” that will include “stuff for all heroes.”
Overwatch is available now for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.