Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan gets lots of requests from fans. Many have asked for a battle royale mode, and apparently his team actively considered making it happen. But, in a recent interview with Kotaku, he says it's not an easy task.
"First and foremost, Overwatch is a game about heroes, and part of what makes the core loop work in a battle royale game is the search, the looting, and the fairness that everybody’s sort of equal,” Kaplan says. “Overwatch wasn’t designed to be a 1v1. Every hero’s not balanced against every other hero."
Battle royale games are enjoying a moment in the cultural spotlight thanks to the massive popularity of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and Fortnite. Fortnite has over 45 million players and is currently the most-watched game on both Twitch and YouTube. PUBG, meanwhile, reportedly made over $700 million last year and is the third best-selling game on PC digital storefront Steam.
Kaplan tells Kotaku PUBG has eaten "hundreds of hours" of his time, but he doesn't want to simply tack a battle royale mode onto Overwatch and have it feel like a "me-too game." So, no, Zenyatta won't be enjoying a chicken dinner anytime soon (he's probably vegetarian anyway).
“Building those systems and getting that many players – I think battle royale for Overwatch starts to get into new game territory,” Kaplan says.