Overwatch Game Director Jeff Kaplan has officially stated via the Blizzard forums that Blizzard World, the new map scheduled for Live release in this week's patch, would be further delayed. Writing that the map was nearly ready for release, Kaplan promised that the team was "committed to releasing it very early this year."
Blizzard World was originally announced at BlizzCon on Nov. 3, 2017, but didn't reach the Public Test Region servers until Nov. 20. Since reaching the PTR, Blizzard World has languished there for over six weeks, officially making it the longest testing period for any map in Overwatch history.
me on january 1st: where is blizzard world pic.twitter.com/il0hYL5ouD— reflections hanzo [kate] (@legendofdonger) January 2, 2018
Meanwhile, Moira, the new hero announced alongside Blizzard World, saw an unusually short testing period. After her reveal at BlizzCon 2017, she spent less than two weeks on the PTR before going live on Nov. 16.
Fan response to Blizzard World's delay has been predictably negative. Players are disappointed both at the delay itself and at Kaplan's vague promise to deliver the map "very early this year." Many on r/Overwatch have read this pessimistically and expect a release as late as February.
Furthermore, Kaplan chose not to divulge concrete reasons for the map's delay, stating only that the map was "not quite there yet." This incited further pessimism about communications between the developers and their fans.
For now, players will have to content themselves with the maps currently in rotation.
Cover photo courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment