We've seen the networking room at Blizzard
HQ in Irvine, Ca
. where all the stress-testing magic comes together to ensure millions upon millions of fans can play their Blizz title of choice in the best connected environment possible. It's an unassuming part of the campus, but is perhaps one of the most important.
Today, Blizzard revealed that as part of its networking setup for Overwatch
it would be introducing cross-play. This future-proofing move should not go unstated, as this is a keen first step for a number of reasons, but most of all it services OW fans across the platform board. And in addition to this, Blizz also revealed some welcome changes to Battle.net
On the Overwatch front, all you need to do is link your console accounts to your Battle.net account to enable cross-play, which will be launching soon for PC
, Nintendo Switch
. Here's a handy link
showing just how to do the above in anticipation of
ganking your lowly console pals
being able to all play together, regardless of platform.
And as alluded to, the Battle.net change will be merging friends lists into a single list not geo-locked (barring China, which remains a separate region). Again, this might be reading too much into it all, but we think Blizzard might be prepping for a borderless world when it comes to gaming in the future from your platform of choice. These changes will also be positives for other non-Blizzard games that also use the platform.
“We realized some time ago that our players would be better served by a global Battle.net that did away with the concept of regions,” says Jeff Allison, Lead Product Manager for Battle.net. “But breaking down these barriers was a significant engineering task. Now that we’ve done it, we look forward to a future where all Battle.net players can communicate and game together no matter where they are.”
Battle.net’s global updates also include cross-platform functionality. This has given our game developers the ability to let you play with others between PC and console seamlessly. Overwatch players will be the first to experience these new cross-play capabilities; for more information, check out this blog.
Oh, and here's a new Battle.net logo, just because.