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Blizzard VP Compares Passionate Overwatch 2 Fans To Junior High Schoolers

In an interview with GameSpot after BlizzCon 2021, Blizzard vice president Jeff Kaplan compared passionate Overwatch fans to junior high schoolers.

While discussing the production of Overwatch 2, Kaplan mentioned that he told his team to think back to junior high school when two kids had a crush on each other. In his words, the story generally went like this: "one of them has a crush on the other one, and they don't know how to express it, so they walk up to them and punch them in the arm. Well, I just wanted you to know that I liked you and I wanted some attention from you, and that was the best way I knew how to get it." At the end of the scenario, he pointed out that the relationship between video game fans and developers feels the same way at times.


As detailed by Bashar Byadsi in a 2018 TEDxUniGoettingen Talk, gamers are passionate for a number of reason — it's hard to play a game for hours on end if you're not excited about what's going to happen or for the gameplay. This excitement has drawn gaming fans together for big releases, major gaming events, and even helped people connect during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Kaplan mentioned that these gamers "don't always know how to express their passion in a way that is helpful."

Excited and passionate fans have criticized how long Overwatch 2 has taken to release. The game was originally teased back in 2019, and before BlizzCon 2021, there wasn't much available information. However, BlizzCon 2021 showed that Overwatch 2 could take the series in a fresh direction through RPG elements with story-based missions and character development. In the follow-up interview, Kaplan wanted to clearly communicate all the work going into Overwatch 2 to help passionate fans understand why it's taking so long to finish the game.


Despite seeing some supporters as akin to junior high children who speak in "dramatic hyperbole," Kaplan said he understood, and even liked to use dramatic hyperbole himself. He mentioned that it's easy to deal with the criticism because he knows it comes from incredible players who just don't always know how to express how they feel. He also recognized that not every Overwatch fan takes passion too far, and that there are plenty of people who understand what the developers are doing and want Blizzard to take its time releasing the game.

"All I can say is we're working as hard and as fast as we possibly can," Kaplan concluded. "And at this point, the date is less important to us than getting it right and making it great."