A LEGO set based on the upcoming Overwatch 2 has been indefinitely delayed as the popular toy maker reviews their partnership with Activision Blizzard.
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LEGO fan website The Brick Fan reports the Overwatch 2 Titan (76980) set, which depicts a scene of Tracer and Mei fighting against a giant omnic as seen in the sequel’s one and only trailer, has been indefinitely delayed.
Originally set to launch February 1st, an apparent official LEGO press release shared by the fan site reveals the company is “currently reviewing our partnership with Activision Blizzard, given concerns about the progress being made to address continuing allegations regarding workplace culture, especially the treatment of female colleagues and creating a diverse and inclusive environment.”
“While we complete the review,” the statement concludes, “we will pause the release of a LEGO Overwatch 2 product which was due to go on sale on February 1, 2022.”
LEGO had previously released five sets based on the original Overwatch title. In 2019, Robotic character Bastion was even given a LEGO-inspired skin.
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Overwatch 2 was officially announced during Blizzcon 2019, though then-Blizzard Entertainment Vice President and Overwatch Game Director Jeff Kaplan later admitted that he had no idea when the game would launch, instead turning focus to how he wanted to change the industry’s approach to sequels by allowing owners of the original game to play all of the game’s content except its new PvE mode.
The announcement came after weeks of bad PR for Blizzard Entertainment, as their decision to ban Hearthstone Grandmaster Blitzchung and strip him of his winnings for voicing support for Hong Kong’s independence from Chinese overreach led to near-universal backlash and criticism from their customer base.
In response, then-Blizzard President J. Allen Brack apologized for “moving too quickly” on the matter at Blizzcon 2019.
The game has certainly had a troubled development, with several of its key players having left the company during its development.
These include Lead Writer Michael Chu in March 2020, as well as the aforementioned Kaplan and Brack, the latter of whom stepped down amidst the Activision Blizzard ongoing sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuits. Blizzard staff have also staged multiple walk outs in support of the company’s accusers [1, 2].
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Unsurprisingly, these turns of event led to both Overwatch 2 and Diablo IV being delayed, the latter being affected by Game Director Jesse McCree’s – one of the developers accused of being “super toxic” and having appeared in a photograph of the now infamous “Cosby suite” – exit from Blizzard Entertainment.
In light of his departure, Blizzard altered numerous references to McCree across multiple Blizzard games, including the name of Overwatch’s resident cowboy and a city in World of Warcraft [1, 2].
The lawsuits also caused the Overwatch esports league to lose sponsors, with The Washington Post describing how T-Mobile “paused” their sponsorships, while Coca-Cola and State Farm were reassessing theirs.
In August 2021, league sponsors included Xfinity, IBM, Kellog and State Farm (with Cheez-It and Pringles), Teamspeak, and Toyota. At the time of this article’s writing, only Coca-Cola and Teamspeak remain listed as partners on the League’s official website.
Unsurprisingly, this controversy has over shadowed all the screenshots, playtests, and reworks of heroes that have since been detailed for Overwatch 2.
Given its turbulent development, some, including those fans who initially discovered the set on retail websites and even news outlets, joked how the LEGO set would launch before the game.
Now, that may not be the case – no matter when Overwatch 2 launches.
What do you make of LEGO reassessing their partnership with Blizzard? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!
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