Overwatch Winter Wonderland 2021 start date moved to December 16

Overwatch Winter Wonderland 2021 has been officially set for December 16th.

Things are a little weird for Overwatch fans right now. There are a couple of in-game things which might be perking them up a bit soon. There’s a community tournament coming soon, and the Winter Wonderland finally has a start date. While Overwatch is in a little bit of a lull right now. The sequel’s release date has frequently shifted, and the Overwatch League is still in a mess with sponsors, as stories emerged about the workplace culture at Blizzard at large. It is no wonder that the game has seen chaotic experimental patches and troublesome releases.

Overwatch Winter Wonderland 2021

Overwatch Winter Wonderland 2021 delayed to December 16

The Overwatch Winter Wonderland is an annual occurrence in the game. Each time, the seasonal game modes return and let you rack up points in challenges to earn one of a few new cosmetics in the title. The gameplay for these events might be pretty well-worn by now, but the promise of some new content always re-engages the fanbase.

The Overwatch Winter Wonderland 2021 event should’ve kicked off last week. Last year it launched on December 15th, and had already launched by December 10th in 2019. However, this year the event run into some problems. First up, Overwatch posted social media teases and pre-download for patches, yet nothing appeared. The assigned social media manager said that the event was being delayed by “a few days”. This was a vague delay, but they came clear a bit later announcing the event on December 16th.

The official Overwatch page still does not contain any update for this event or the rewards, and all data available is for last years’ event.

Activision Blizzard strike to blame?

Right now, Activision Blizzard is being hit by one of the biggest scandals in gaming history. A number of escalating allegations of sexual misconduct have stacked on, along with a stubborn refusal to accept the problems by management. This eventually led to many in the industry to call for the CEO to resign, something that hasn’t happened. Alongside these problems, the common issues with worker treatment from AAA studios have reared their head. A number of QA testers were unceremoniously fired by the company recently. To many, it is just further evidence of the problems at the studio. This has led to a fairly big strike against Activision Blizzard’s continued refusal to address the systematic rot that seems to have spread across the entire company.

Activision Blizzard has responded with what is now characteristic tone-deafness. They essentially decided to use the opportunity to attempt some union-busting, threatening ‘consequences’ for those employees who join a union. While Activision is engaging in borderline union-busting, the community around these devs has stepped up to support workers. Over $300,000 has been raised for a strike fund in a GoFundMe

It is unlikely that these continued problems are completely unrelated to delays. With that in mind, it might be difficult to know when work will resume on all titles properly. Most things are facing delays, including Overwatch 2.

Overwatch Experimental Patch and Community Cup

In some slightly brighter news for the game, an experimental patch has captured the community’s attention. This patch was in no way trying to build a more balanced game. Instead, it has broken various aspects to give the game more fun and chaotic balance for a little while. This experimental patch is one of the closest things Overwatch gets to evolution anymore, so those who have stuck with the title through what can easily be called its worst year have some fun ahead of them.

The Overwatch Creator Cup was held over the last week. It had a prize pool of $4,500-5,5000 depending on the region, with other prizes available to teams here too. The Christmas tournament is more for bragging rights than a title or a prize though.

This is a smaller tournament. It isn’t going to be a big part of Overwatch betting or eclipse the League. However, it is a nice bright spot for the Overwatch community in the last few weeks. The game is suffering from a complete lack of content, and delaying even the now fairly predictable seasonal game modes isn’t exactly promising. However, until situations internally at Activation-Blizzard can be settled it is difficult to say when we can expect more from the game.