Overwatch‘s Jeff Kaplan takes to the Battle.net forums to let players know that replay and spectator systems are being worked on but are not top priorities right now.
Blizzard is working on adding replays and a full spectator mode to Overwatch at some point in the future, but players shouldn’t hold their breath waiting for the features. That’s the message Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan shared with fans in a forum post on Thursday.
Kaplan said the reason for the delay is that Blizzard’s engineers are simply too busy implementing other features right now. Updates in development include matchmaking improvements, high bandwidth server technology, and changes to the game’s Competitive Play mode that need to be implemented before Season 2 starts in September.
The ability to spectate the matches of your friends or even professional players is a common feature in many multiplayer-focused games like League of Legends. Another Blizzard game, Hearthstone, allows players to spectate anyone on their friend list. But in Overwatch, spectating is only currently available through the spectator slots in a custom game or after joining an already full game that your friend is playing.
The game also does technically have a limited replay feature through the “Play of the Game” system, which plays back one of the best sequences from the match for all players to watch once it’s all over. The game also collects “Highlights” from a player’s most recent matches which can be viewed from the main menu, but there is no option for a player to ask the game to record a recent sequence so it can be watched again later.
As Daily Dot notes, the ability to spectate and watch replays in multiplayer titles like Overwatch can be beneficial for anyone trying to improve their play. Sure, there’s always YouTube or Twitch but in 2016, competitive titles are almost expected to have these capabilities baked into the game itself.
Blizzard recently announced the first Overwatch Cup, so it’s no secret that the developer wants to see the title do well as an eSport. For what it’s worth, the game is still pulling in a lot of views on Twitch several months after launch, but if Overwatch is going to be the title to take eSports to new heights, Blizzard is going to want to patch in these features as soon as possible.
Still, it’s reassuring that Kaplan reached out to at least let fans know that these systems will be patched in eventually. “We’re as excited as you guys are for [a replay system and a spectate only feature],” Kaplan wrote on the forums. “We’re really hoping to get time on them.”
Overwatch is available now for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. The title is one of Game Rant’s Top 10 Games of 2016 So Far.