Overwatch Crossplay Beta Part of New "Global Battle.Net"

Blizzard News announces crossplay (or cross-play if you prefer) support is coming to Overwatch, the competitive hero shooter. This will soon launch in beta, allowing players from around the world to play together in the same matches regardless of platform, with the exception of those in China. Word is: "With the release of cross-play, all players will need to make a Battle.net account and link their appropriate console accounts. With the launch of Cross-Play, everyone who logs in to Overwatch by the end of 2021 will receive a Golden Loot Box to celebrate." A new Developer Update Video fills us in on the news, and fills us with sadness too, as it's the first of these to feature anyone but Jeff Kaplan, who recently left the company. This is part of a greater trend, as it's said to be part of a "new global Battle.net," which does away with the concept of "regions" and can facilitate crossplay in other titles going forward. This is all described in this update:
Starting today, friends lists from different territories will be merged into one*, so you’ll no longer need to switch regions in Battle.net to talk to your buddies on the other side of the planet. “As Global Battle.net rolls out, players around the world will be able to come together all across the larger Blizzard ecosystem without any hurdles for the first time ever,” says Diana Hubbard, Platform Design Manager. In doing so, they will be able to effortlessly expand their friendships, groups, and communities—paving the way for forging new bonds over our present and future epic gaming experiences. This is just the first step, and it will only get better from here.” To accent this new era of global gaming and social connectivity on Battle.net, we’ve also updated our logo.

“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.