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Deathmatch coming to Overwatch, along with a new map (update: now live)

Kill or be killed

Overwatch players can finally feel free to stop worrying about getting on the payload, because deathmatch modes are on their way to the game, the studio announced today.

Now available in Overwatch’s Public Test Region — which is exclusive to the Windows PC version of the game — are two new kills-only modes, Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch. The former is limited to eight players, while the latter maintains the game’s traditional six-on-six setup.

Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan explained in a developer update video that Blizzard initially “didn’t think [deathmatch] was right for the game,” because the studio wanted to focus on objective-based team modes in Quick Play and Competitive. But the Arcade, said Kaplan, has “opened up our ability as developers to introduce game modes to you guys that we wouldn’t normally feel comfortable putting in the Quick Play or Competitive rotation.”

Overwatch - turret on Chateau Guillard
A turret on Château Guillard, the new map for Overwatch’s deathmatch update.
Blizzard Entertainment

Deathmatch is a free-for-all fracas in which each person is trying to rack up as many kills as possible. The first player to reach 20 points wins, with one point awarded for striking the final blow and one point subtracted for a death due to environmental or self-inflicted damage. Team Deathmatch works the same way, with one interesting wrinkle — if a dead player is resurrected before they respawn, the kill is erased from the opponents’ score — and a score limit of 30.

Blizzard is introducing a new map just for Deathmatch — the free-for-all version, not the team-based gametype — called Château Guillard. Located near Annecy in southeastern France, it is Widowmaker’s family estate. The developer update video announcing the arrival of deathmatch didn’t offer a look at the map, but you can see a glimpse of it in the screenshot above.

Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch will also be playable on a bunch of existing maps, including in custom games. Both modes will exist in Overwatch’s Arcade. As always, the final version of the new update will eventually be released on all platforms after Blizzard conducts testing on the PTR.

Update (Aug. 29): Overwatch’s version 2.18 patch, which includes deathmatch modes and balance changes to Junkrat, Orisa, Roadhog and Widowmaker, is now live on all platforms. The update also brings in the Château Guillard map.

Blizzard is implementing data format changes with this update, the studio said in its patch notes. The tweaks mean that this patch is larger than usual, but they will enable the company to make future patches smaller.

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