Back in March, Blizzard said its upcoming team-based FPS Overwatch would have a fixed field of view [FOV]: 60 degrees vertically, and about 92 degrees horizontally, maintaining a 16:9 aspect ratio. Locking the FOV, a rep explained on Reddit [via PCGamesN], was intended to "avoid creating a situation of 'Haves and Have-nots,' where those who are aware of the slider are able to gain an advantage over those who aren't."
Widening a game's horizontal FOV beyond its default setting lets a player see more of what's going on around him, including enemy combatants who would otherwise be outside the field of vision. Conversely, dramatically tightening the FOV can serve as a sort of DIY sniper scope, although I suppose that may have fallen out of vogue now that most precision weapons already have one. (The old Q2 railgun, the impetus of my FOV experimentation, did not.) Screen distortion can be an issue, but even a relatively small increase, say to 110 or 120 degrees, offers a significant competitive advantage while keeping the game entirely playable.
Unfortunately, an adjustable FOV also helps a lot of gamers who deal with motion sickness in FPSes. It's enough of an issue that Treyarch made mention of it regarding Black Ops 3, Turtle Rock patched one into Evolve, and a fan modded one into Grand Theft Auto 5. And now Blizzard has reversed course, and added one to Overwatch.
"We’ve implemented the FOV slider to provide players with options in consideration of aiming preferences, viewmodels, dizziness and nausea," a rep said. "We are constantly fine-tuning the game, and will remain open to feedback as testing continues."
It's not really surprising that changes like this are being made—Overwatch won't even be in beta until sometime in the fall—but it's still a laudable move. Find out more about what Blizzard's got cooking in our hands-on from February.