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

overwatch three more maps 2017 bastion thumb
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.

Emerging Tech

Smarter cities need smarter addresses. And you just need 3 words

To make really smart transportation choices, more precise location data will have to be integrated with citywide transportation data. Here’s how one company is mapping the world by using just three words.
Mobile

You can now message businesses straight through Google Maps

Google has been updating Maps with a ton of new features over the past few months, and now it's back with another one -- the ability for users to message businesses directly through the Maps app.
Gaming

‘Overwatch’ gunslinger Ashe is now available on all platforms

Blizzard announced Ashe as the latest Overwatch hero at BlizzCon 2018. The gunslinger has a history with McCree and makes use of a lever-action repeating rifle and a robotic sidekick.
Gaming

‘PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’ parachutes onto PlayStation 4 on December 7

Following months of speculation, PUBG Corp. has announced that PUBG is coming to PS4 on December 7. The PS4 version includes all three maps and major features, and you can get some PlayStation-themed apparel items by pre-ordering.
Gaming

‘Final Fantasy VII Remake’ director sets record straight on game’s progress

Final Fantasy VII Remake director Tetsuya Nomura clarified some information about the game's progress. There were earlier reports that the RPG was put on hold in favor of Kingdom Hearts III, but that is apparently not the case.
Features

From NES to PlayStation, retro gaming is booming. But will it last?

Everyone craves the good old days, and companies like Nintendo and Sony are cashing in with their mini versions of beloved retro consoles. But is this fad built to last or will our fixation with pixelated graphics come and go like mom…
Gaming

‘Blockchain gaming’ startup gets $16 million in Series A funding

A gaming startup, Mythical Games, has raised $16 million in Series A funding to work on their concept of blockchain gaming. The aim is for the startup to develop games for the PC, console, and mobile markets.
Gaming

‘Fortnite’ named Ultimate Game of the Year at the Golden Joystick awards

This year's Golden Joysticks, the gaming awards handed out by GamesRadar, have been announced and Fortnite has been named the Ultimate Game of the Year. It beat out Red Dead Redemption for best game, but Red Dead was named critics' choice.
Gaming

Want to gift a Steam game so you can play with a friend? Here's how to do it

The holidays may have passed, but it's always a good time to give the gift of gaming (especially when there's a Steam sale)! Here's our quick guide on how to give a Steam game as a gift.
Gaming

‘Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers’ to launch next summer with gunblades, Viera

Square Enix revealed that Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers will be released in summer 2019. The third expansion of the MMORPG will include new story content, dungeons, and raids, in addition to gunblades and the Viera.
Gaming

The Fix PUBG campaign is over: What’s next for ‘PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’?

The PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds development team declared that the Fix PUBG campaign was over. Here are the results of the three-month campaign, as well as the future plans for the multiplayer Battle Royale shooter.
Deals

Black Friday 2018: The best deals so far

Black Friday is the biggest shopping holiday of the year, and it will be here before you know it. If you can't wait until November 23 to start formulating a shopping plan, we've got you covered.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: A.I. selfie drones, ‘invisible’ wireless chargers

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Deals

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…