Overwatch’s Play of the Game feature is iconic as it is infamous. On one hand, it gives big moments a few seconds of fame and encourages friends and foes alike to say, “OK yeah, that was pretty cool.” But it goes against the grain of Overwatch’s team focus, and it misfires. A lot.
In the past, Blizzard has acknowledged POTG’s flaws, but the feature hasn’t changed much in ways that are immediately apparent. “We are tweaking it regularly, but not massively revamping it,” lead hero designer Geoff Goodman told me during an interview at BlizzCon.
He added, however, that Play of the Game won’t keep rewarding people for running down hallways and dying forever. Play of the Game 2.0 is in the works.
“There’s a plan to do what we’re calling Play of the Game 2.0,” he said. “It’s been on the books for a little while. It’s just a matter of prioritizing everything. We have a lot of really cool ideas. We want to do a lot with the camera work. We have ideas for cooperative Play of the Games. Because what we have right now, is Zarya could ult, and then Genji gets the credit. And that’s like, ‘Come on!’”
“So we want to highlight the combo play itself, to show both,” he added. “There’s some tricky things there, like how do we handle Play of the Game intros, and how do we decide who gets credit.”
And of course, it’s a mean feat of engineering to figure out, which further complicates matters.
Still, it’s something fans have been clamoring for (some have even mocked up what it might look like), so it’s something Goodman and co very much plan to do in the near-ish future. “It could be cool with Mercy too,” he said, offering another example of a hero who doesn’t get much credit these days. “She could rez everybody, and then they could get a bunch of eliminations.”
At that point, I added that intros could show heroes high-fiving or hugging or doing special character-specific animations. “I hadn’t even thought about that,” said Goodman. “That’s cool!”
So you’re welcome for that part of the feature when it inevitably makes it into the game, everybody.