Blizzard unveils plans for improving the Overwatch viewing experience (update)

Update 11/1/2017: A second developer update delves into the specifics of how some of these new tools will work. Check it out here:

Original story: In a developer update today, Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan unveiled plans to improve the Overwatch viewing experience. 

First off, teams will now be able to have uniforms and color palettes to help differentiate from one another—in colors more varied than the red and blue tint  system currently in use. The new system will be first implemented in the Overwatch World Cup next week at Blizzcon. 

Next, a top-down overlay system will be made available to observers and broadcasters that will let them see the entire battlefield at once. It will give indications of all players, their positions, ultimate status, and things like whether or not they're rooted or stunned.

A new "third-person smart camera" will be implemented when viewing matches in third-person mode, which will smooth out the camera and smartly follow the action. Similarly, broadcasters will be able to quickly replay moments from multiple camera angles and time scaling. This should translate to viewers at home in the form of "awesome instant replay moments framed up in cinematic ways."

Blizzard is also rolling out an automated tournament system that will help streamline the tournament process as well as preserve the integrity of the game, such as automatically pausing if a player disconnects. 

Blizzard says these are just the first steps in improving the Overwatch viewing experience, and that the company is committed to making the game into a fun esport to watch. 

Bo Moore

As the former head of PC Gamer's hardware coverage, Bo was in charge of helping readers better understand and use PC hardware. He also headed up the buying guides, picking the best peripherals and components to spend your hard-earned money on. He can usually be found playing Overwatch, Apex Legends, or more likely, with his cats. He is now IGN's resident tech editor and PC hardware expert.