Skip to main content

‘Overwatch’ director says Switch port would be ‘very challenging’

2016 Games You Should Play In 2017
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan revealed that porting Blizzard’s massively successful shooter Overwatch to Nintendo Switch would be difficult. The insight came during his recent Reddit AMA.

“I’m loving the Switch! My second favorite gaming platform of all time is the 3DS. Getting OW on the Switch is very challenging for us,” Kaplan wrote.

Kaplan didn’t elaborate on those challenges, but it’s safe to say that there are two big obstacles standing in Blizzard’s way. First, Overwatch currently runs on Xbox One, PS4, and PC, three machines that surpass the Switch on a technical level. The game would likely have to be scaled back on Switch, making it a time-consuming port. Beyond sheer power, online services may be an even larger issue. Although Nintendo plans to expand the Switch’s currently barebones online features later this year, the publisher has never placed much emphasis on online multiplayer. The logistics of building a player community on Switch may prove too daunting and the Switch might never meet Blizzard’s standards in terms of online features.

Kaplan, however, left the door open by concluding, “But we’re always open minded about exploring possible platforms.” Kaplan is obviously very fond of Nintendo. In addition to his 3DS adoration, he referred to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild as a “masterpiece” in response to a question about his current favorite game.

Blizzard is still regarded as a PC-centric developer, but with titles like Overwatch and Diablo III: Reaper of Souls on Xbox One and PS4, and Hearthstone on mobile devices, Blizzard’s identity is beginning to shift. But the last game Blizzard released on a Nintendo platform? It ported its real-time strategy classic StarCraft on Nintendo 64 in 2000.

If Blizzard somehow finds a way to break its Nintendo console drought then we would be able to play Overwatch on the go. Fingers crossed.

Editors' Recommendations

Steven Petite
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Steven is a writer from Northeast Ohio currently based in Louisiana. He writes about video games and books, and consumes…
The best multiplayer games on Switch
Mario and his friends.

Part of the Nintendo Switch's appeal is its versatility -- you can play it at home on your TV or on the go in portable mode. This versatility also applies to multiplayer and co-op games, which can be played with single Joy-Con controllers, in tabletop mode, and wirelessly both online and locally. Better yet, many of these Nintendo Switch games allow for crossplay with other consoles and PCs.

And while the Switch might not be the competitive powerhouse that the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are, it still offers an incredible library of multiplayer games. In fact, the portable console is home to some of the best co-op experiences we've seen in this generation, and new competitive games are being added all the time. Here are our favorites, whether you're a fan of raucous racing games, mellow simulators, or monster-hunting titles of the finest caliber.
The best multiplayer games on Nintendo Switch

Read more
Our favorite Switch games of 2023: Tears of the Kingdom, Mario, and much more
Link stands behind text that says Best Switch Games 2023.

If 2023 was our last full year with the Nintendo Switch, what a heck of a sendoff it got.

The rumor mill has been buzzing for months now, claiming that Nintendo plans to reveal and release its Switch successor next year. While that’s a rumor you should take with some skepticism, there’s good reason to believe it may happen. Nintendo reportedly showed off the system to developers behind closed doors at Gamescom this year, and the Switch’s current 2024 lineup feels like the final drop we’d get right before a new system. The Switch could be old news this time next year.

Read more
When does Hogwarts Legacy come out on Nintendo Switch?
A student waving a wand in Hogwarts Legacy.

Hogwarts Legacy is the latest and greatest adventure in the magical Harry Potter universe. Set in the 1800s, the story focuses on a generic fifth-year student who’s tasked with taking down a brewing Goblin rebellion in-between their school duties. For Potterheads of all ages, a game that allows them to traverse the halls of Hogwarts, learn their favorite spells from the books and films, and fight enemies like dark wizards, trolls, and dragons is an absolute dream.

The game launched on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, and PC in February. While reviews were mixed across the board, longtime fans jumped into the wizarding world in droves — over 15 million copies of the game have been sold to date. Unfortunately, players on the top-tier consoles were the only ones who had access to the game for a while. Instead of launching on all platforms simultaneously, Hogwarts Legacy's release has been staggered.

Read more