In an exciting bit of news, Activision-Blizzard announced a fundamental change to how Overwatch, Battle.net and the in-game matchmaking work. In the near future (no date has been confirmed yet) Blizzard will change Battle.net completely, to allow for an exciting new feature: Crossplay in Overwatch.
Players will be able to play with, against and side-by-side with their friends, even if their friends are using a different platform such as PlayStation or Xbox. In fact, PC, PlayStation, Xbox and the Nintendo Switch will be part of this merger, and that’s not all. Additionally, the region system will also be altered – where so far, players have to select a matchmaking region (such as Europe or NA-West) when they wanted to play with others, this will soon change.
“We realized some time ago that our players would be better served by a global Battle.net that did away with the concept of regions,” says Jeff Allison, Lead Product Manager for Battle.net. “But breaking down these barriers was a significant engineering task. Now that we’ve done it, we look forward to a future where all Battle.net players can communicate and game together no matter where they are.”
Instead of having different, separate regions that users have to switch between, this feature will be removed and people will be able to just play with their friends! This won’t affect ping or lag, but it will make it more convenient to play with different people in different regions of the world.
While these news are already quite exciting for many. Blizzard is also offering up a free golden loot box for everyone who connects a Battle.net account with their console accounts before December 31st of 2021. For those who have already done so, or those who use PC, no steps are needed – once the feature rolls out, players can expect the loot box in the relevant section in the game.
There is one exception to this whole region merger – China. Currently its own region as well, this will continue to be the case. In other words, all regions except for China will merge together into one. “When Battle.net first came out, the purpose was to deliver a connected, multiplayer experience for a single title,” says Arron Goolsbey, the VP of Platform Engineering for Battle.net. “Fast-forward 10 to 15 years, and Battle.net had evolved into a service that spanned all Blizzard games but was still constructed with the primary notion that players would mostly play with others within their region. The internet has come a long way in the last 10 years, enabling global and cross-platform experiences with high levels of quality. So now, Battle.net is evolving once again.”
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