Though Battle Royale/Last Man Standing titles seem to be the “in” thing these days with PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite: Battle Royale ruling the roost, not every title is suited to it. Blizzard Entertainment’s Overwatch is a good example and while the development team may play plenty of PUBG, creating a Battle Royale mode for the hero shooter isn’t really feasible.
Game director Jeff Kaplan spoke to Kotaku and noted that every hero not being balanced against the other goes against the fundamentals of Last Man Standing. “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. Overwatch wasn’t designed to be a 1v1. Every hero’s not balanced against every other hero.”
There are also issues with map size. The current slate of maps may be sizable but they’re far from Battle Royale scale. There’s a substantial amount of time and resources required to make it work.
“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.” The amount of time and resources will border into “new game territory” as per Kaplan.
Though games like Paladins are attempting a Battle Royale mode with heroes, time will tell how exactly that pans out. In the meantime, the Overwatch team is busy working on other content like new maps, heroes and limited time events like the upcoming Uprising mode. A recent trailer seems to indicate another mission.