Jeff Kaplan Would Love a Battle Royale Mode in Overwatch, but Don’t Expect One

Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan has talked about the possibility of a Battle Royale mode in the game and says the idea excites him, but that we probably shouldn’t expect anything like it anytime soon.

Battle Royale is everywhere right now. The PUBG and Fortnite steam trains are still rolling pretty fast and others are already jumping on board to get some of the rub. Interestingly, hero shooter Paladins is going to be jumping on the wagon, bringing that game’s hero pool to the genre. That roster bares a stark resemblance to Overwatch, and it has had many thinking, would a Battle Royale mode be possible in Overwatch?

Well, now we have some official word. Speaking to Kotaku, Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan mused on the idea and certainly seemed to be excited about the idea. He admits he and many on the team have played PUBG addictively, and the idea is certainly interesting to him, but that it would be hard to implement. He said:

A lot of times when I hear some of our fans pitch it, they’re like ‘Oh, just put a card in the Arcade one day that’s a battle royale mode,’ and I’m like ‘Fuck, that would be awesome, But there’s a lot of design and tech work to get us to that place and not just feel like a me-too game.

He added:

I think there are also some technical challenges of large, open game spaces. Our primary engagement distance is usually around 15 to 40 meters. The Hanamura dojo point B is 45 meters across. I don’t think people realize how tiny it is. Part of what makes Fortnite and PUBG so awesome is that you can have these really long engagement distances.

He went on to say that the design challenge would be so large that it would be going into “new game territory”, and it’s not hard to see why. Balancing and creating space and the systems seems like a huge challenge — not something the team would invest in for a throwaway event. Also, it seems like it would be a weird fit, albeit interesting. Maybe something will come of it in time, but I wouldn’t expect it any time soon… or ever.