When Overwatch 2 goes live in October, veteran Overwatch players will notice that a few maps — Hanamura, Volskaya, and Temple of Anubis, specifically — will effectively disappear from the game. Those three Assault-type maps won’t be part of the normal rotation in quick play and competitive games, as Blizzard is moving away from the contentious game type and bringing a new mode, Push, to Overwatch 2.
While some Overwatch players will breathe a sigh of relief that Assault maps (aka 2CP maps) are being phased out for Overwatch 2, maps like Hanamura have strong ties to the narrative of Overwatch, particularly for heroes Hanzo and Genji.
In a roundtable interview with Overwatch developers, art director Dion Rogers said that the studio hopes to bring maps like Hanamura back, eventually, but in a very different form.
“It was a tough decision for us to lose the Assault maps,” Rogers said. “Hanamura being one of personally my favorite maps in the game, with the Japanese aesthetic and arcade that you destroy. We do plan to reuse this in some way because it’s connected to the lore so much — [just like] Temple of Anubis and Volskaya.
“When we initially built the game, a lot of the maps were directly related to the lore, so we’re hoping to revisit [them], especially Hanamura, in some way, as either a new map that uses a similar aesthetic or another section of Hanamura. There’s a bunch of ideas.”
Rogers noted that Overwatch 2 players will still be able to access Assault maps in custom games, but not in the popular quick play and competitive game types.
“But we really think it’s better if they were a part of the key maps in the game,” Rogers said. “So we definitely talked a lot about how to reuse those maps. We will rebuild a new map but with the same aesthetics.”