'Overwatch' will get three new maps this year, plus 'nonstandard' locations

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Overwatch has received a wealth of post-release content since it launched last May, including additional characters like Ana and Orisa as well as the maps Oasis and Eichenwalde. Game director Jeff Kaplan recently let slip new information on planned maps for the game, and it appears that players will have plenty of new locations to try out before the end of 2017.

Writing on the game’s official forums, Kaplan revealed that Blizzard currently has three maps that are not only in development, but have made it “past the initial playtesting phase.” These are “standard” maps meant to be mixed into the traditional quick-play and competitive mode rotation.

“While something could always change, all three of those are looking likely for a release this year,” Kaplan added.

Three other “nonstandard” maps are in the works, though Kaplan didn’t elaborate on exactly what that meant. We’ve seen one of these thus far — the map “Ecopoint: Antarctica” — which has been used for one-on-one fights as well as some seasonal events. The “Estádio das Rãs” field used during the summer Olympics may also count as a “nonstandard” map to Blizzard. We’re certainly hoping the studio decides to bring its “Lúcioball” game back as a permanent fixture, or at least as a reoccurring mode during the summer.

Kaplan also said that his team has “a few other experiments going on.” This could mean we’ll be getting more player-versus-environment modes in the future, which have thus far been limited to events like Junkenstein’s Revenge at Halloween and the recent “Uprising,” which takes place seven years before the events of Overwatch. The latter is only available until May 1, and sees new agent Tracer working to stop an Omnic uprising on the multiplayer map “King’s Row.” Other playable characters include Torbjörn, Reinhardt, and Mercy, and skins are also available for Genji, Widowmaker, Bastion, Orisa, and McCree.