It’s a bittersweet day for Overwatch fans, as Blizzard prepares to take the game offline in preparation for the launch of Overwatch 2. If you’ve been playing Overwatch since the early days, then consider this your last chance warning to play the game before the sequel makes its debut on October 4. The Overwatch servers will be taken offline at 5pm BST UK time on October 3. The servers will stay down until the launch of Overwatch 2 at 8pm BST on Tuesday evening.
“It’s no small feat to launch a video game! To do so for Overwatch 2, we’ll be taking the current version of Overwatch down starting at approximately 9:00 a.m. PDT on October 3,” reads a Blizzard blog post.
“This means October 2 is your last full day to play the original Overwatch! Thanks for playing, and for your support as we celebrate Overwatch entering a bright and exciting new era.”
To make the transition between original Overwatch and its sequel a little easier, Blizzard is asking fans to share their favourite memories of the popular squad-based shooter.
If you want to get involved, simply share your stories on Twitter using the hashtag “SeeYouOnTheOtherSide!”.
“We’re celebrating our transition to the next chapter with #SeeYouOnTheOtherSide! Use the hashtag to share your favourite memories from Overwatch 1 and get hyped for what the future holds!
“Gameplay highlights, your favourite cinematic, a funny story – we wanna see it all.”
Returning players will be able to access the Founder’s Pack, which contains two Legendary skins, an exclusive icon, and brand new Overwatch 2 hero Kiriko.
To obtain the Founder’s Pack, you’ll need to have purchased the original Overwatch before June 23, 2022. You have until December 5, 2022 to claim the reward items.
If you need any additional motivation to login to Overwatch 2, Blizzard has confirmed that anybody who plays during Season One will automatically receive Junker Queen and Sojourn.
Blizzard explains more: “As a reminder, everyone who logs in during Season One will receive heroes Junker Queen and Sojourn automatically, whether they’re new players or returning.
“Players who own the original Overwatch will also receive Kiriko through their Founder’s Pack, which can be claimed by logging in at any point before the end of Season Two. If you currently have the “Founders” portrait in-game, you’ve already claimed your Founder’s Pack.”
Another thing that’s worth pointing out is that players will need to register a phone number to their Battle.net account in order to play. (Instructions can be found below.)
The SMS Protection requirement is part of Blizzard’s new Defense Matrix initiative, which aims to better identify cheaters and disruptive players.
Blizzard explains more: “SMS Protect brings meaningful change when it comes to disruptive play. This additional layer of security is an industry-proven solution in combating both cheating and disruptive behaviour, further protecting your Overwatch 2 experience from bad actors.
“The security of your account is important, and SMS Protect helps verify ownership of your account in the unforeseen event of an account compromise.
“Similarly, if a disruptive player has been suspended or banned, SMS Protect makes it more difficult for them to return to the game.”
Finally, PC users can get ahead of the pack by pre-loading Overwatch 2 right now. Just head to Battle.net, sign in and download the game client. Console users can download the game at launch.