Overwatch is hugely popular right now with the online gaming community, and Vice-President of Blizzard, Jeffery Kaplan, at the Anniversary Event in New York this past week, hinted that official modding tools may come to the game, but not for some time.
Several people asked Kaplan about modding tools coming to the game, and he emphasised that the team loved the concept of players creating their own scenario's and environments, and that he rejects criticism that the development team are not supporting creative individuals who create maps and mods, citing success with the modding community in other games such as League of Legends and DOTA.
Despite this, he went on to explain that fans may have to wait "some years" for such tools to be come available for the game. He said that, while the game was "in philosophy" ready for modding, it will take them a long time to make the concept a reality. He stressed that the latest game engine, and the time required to develop these and other essentials, means that they won't be coming anytime soon.
Jeffery KaplanI always try to remind people like, do you know that DOTA, League of Legends, and DOTA2 would not exist if it weren’t for our openness through people modding our stuff. Also, the WoW user interface was like a whole crazy community that made tons of brilliant stuff. We’re totally open to it, but because of that new engine, the amount of time for us to get all of our systems online, and the infrastructure, set up so that somebody could create something, modify it, have their own branch, check it in, test it… We’re just pretty far from that.
He went to describe how he sees these tools working, describing something similar to tools released previously for Warcraft 3 and StarCraft 2. The tools will be, as he describes them, "Hardcore tools", that will preclude some people from being able to use them, but will encourage modders who really understand the craft to create something of high quality, rather than flooding the game with low quality content.
I think if we were to release our tools, it would be much more towards a professional to semi-professional to up and coming modder, mapmaking, coder type of fanbase rather than like “here’s this dumbed down system to where anybody can make anything.” But again, we’re years from that.
While it's nice to hear the team talking about this possibility, will a few years down the line be a few years too late? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!