Overwatch 2’s Jeff Kaplan opines about the demoralizing effect leaks have on a development team

    
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Overwatch 2’s Jeff Kaplan opines about the demoralizing effect leaks have on a development team

All of your leaks around Overwatch 2 made Jeff Kaplan very sad. You probably already know that, since he made a point out of it during the opening ceremonies at BlizzCon 2019, but Kaplan went into more detail in an interview with Kotaku Australia. As he put it, leaks aren’t remembered after the fact, but it leaves the developers struggling to put context to the leaks about things that aren’t made clear just from the leak itself, like working overtime to reassure existing Overwatch players that the sequel won’t leave them behind.

When you’re trying so hard to deliver something for somebody and to have it be spoiled in a way that’s not coherent… That’s the part that bothers us the most, where people are not given all the information and all of the context that they need to understand what we’re doing.

Of course, in another interview Kaplan stressed that it took some convincing to have Overwatch 2 carry cosmetics forward from the original game. This isn’t without precedent; it took some convincing to ensure that all Overwatch updates would be free for owners of the existing game. Seeing as the title still has no release date, expect to be hearing about this a lot for the next couple of years.

I try to tell them if we do what’s right by the players, they will be happy, we we will have a better game, and we will end up in a better place in the long run. Rather than having this short sighted thinking that’s usually driven by anxiety of “the only way to get players to play Overwatch 2 is to cut off all the Overwatch 1 players and starve them out and force them to come over” and, you know, make that game just sort of die on the vine.

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BGZD

Are we just not getting any more OW heroes until ow2?… If its years out, OW is gunna be REALLY stale for a REALLY long time.

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Armsbend

Marketing season is in full swing! Let the flurry of outright lies commence!

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Danny Smith

I’m sure the RMB lets them find the will to power through the pain.

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Sorenthaz

Jeff seems to be one of the few devs left at Blizzard who actually cares about player experiences and not just following what data says would be most efficient/profitable.

Sixuality
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Sixuality

I can’t help but suspect that this year’s leaks were done with at the very least the tacit approval of some people at Blizzard – not the dev teams, but others who wanted to get some positive word out as a promise that stuff that people actually wanted was coming this year. (i.e. not Diablo: Immortal)

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Kanbe

My suspicion is that the “leaks” were done purposefully to blunt the edge of any protests. Dangle these high value projects to make some fans go from planning to protest to excited to see the new shiny.

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Bruno Brito

I’m not that far into theories. I believe the leaks were just leaks, and Kaplan was pissed.

I just disagree with the assessment of people that Kaplan was pissed because he’s Oh-so passionate about the game. He was pissed because Blizzard had a dumpster fire of a PR disaster to actively fix this year, and Kaplan was aware that they dropped the ball with Overwatch. The game is shallow, it’s just a team shooter, and a lot of people wanted it to be more.

Since they’re aware that they were literally showing everyone: “Hey guys, this is Overwatch 2! It’s what OW should have been from the beginning, but we’ll make you pay full price for it again!”, he needed that hype to be explosive.

The leaks threw him off, and i’m sure that Activision was breathing heavily down his neck.

Which makes everything better for my spectacle.

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Sasha Alex

While i was happy when i heard the leaks about a second game and the PVE content.
I can see the problem here. They wanted to see the crowd’s reaction without the leaks to see how much they were waiting and wanted this. But since the leaks and everyone knew what was coming up players just wanted to see how the game looked.
And not much reaction from the crowd since they already knew it was coming.
Same with Diablo 4.

I actually feel bad for them.

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Bruno Brito

Boo hoo.

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Dug From The Earth

Thats it, blow off one of the last few devs who actually cares about trying to get the players a decent and fun game to play.

Attitudes like this from players are what are making the majority of games be corporate money making decisions rather than works of passion and enjoyment designed to bring others fun.

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Kartha Shanoji

Don’t mind Bruno, its mostly negativity that attracts him.

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Bruno Brito

About this specific topic? Yes. It’s delicious.

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Bruno Brito

Thats it, blow off one of the last few devs who actually cares about trying to get the players a decent and fun game to play.

As he admonishes an entire crowd of PAYING fans? Yeah, i’ll blow him off. Fuck him. Blizzard is responsible to contain leaks, not us.

Attitudes like this from players are what are making the majority of games be corporate money making decisions rather than works of passion and enjoyment designed to bring others fun.

Bullshit. The games are corporate shitshows because gaming is an completely unregulated industry. Don’t pin this on us.

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Louie

Do you honestly think Overwatch is a “work of passion”? Clearly, it’s a game that’s had a lot of polish and hard effort put into it and I would never claim otherwise, nor would I say that the developers who put in the work don’t put passion into the product, but it’s still a game that was turned into a competitive character-based PVP game because that’s what the trend was at the time and it has a legitimately awful lootbox system literally designed to get people to pour money into it in droves by filling them with items no one wants. We’re talking about Blizzard here. “Last few devs who actually care”? That’s just silly.

And this is coming from someone who sympathizes with Kaplan and his team, and all developers that get things leaked beforehand. It sucks, but no reason to act like Overwatch is some last bastion of games that focus on fun and enjoyment when there’s plenty.

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Bruno Brito

Here’s a point of contention: I do believe Kaplan is passionate.

But i won’t give him a pass on that, so he can admonish paying fans in their Con, like this shit isn’t their fault. It’s Blizzard’s fault. Period. They’re the ones who should secure their damn stuff more, not us.

And Kaplan being a person who cares shouldn’t be noteworthy, it should be a standard for making games.

But yeah, above all, my problem is his garbage passive-agressive posture, like this was our fault. Fuck that.