Gamers enraged after Blizzard strips 21:9 resolutions from Overwatch

After having been run through extensive beta testing, Blizzard unleashed Overwatch upon the world just over a week ago. The game was first shown off at BlizzCon in November 2014 alongside StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void. First impressions were positive which was vital for the company's first foray into a brand new genre.

Unfortunately, upon public release of Overwatch, Blizzard quietly dropped proper native support for ultra-widescreen resolutions from the game. This was despite the fact that these resolutions had been available during the closed beta and, with some hex-editing, the open beta test. While Overwatch will play just fine at 2560x1080 or 3440x1440 resolutions, the rendered graphics end up being pillarboxed with black bars on both sides of the screen.

The situation provoked disgruntled players into voicing their concerns on the Battle.net forums with hundreds of comments overflowing into a second thread. Meanwhile, discussion has also taken place in the PC Master Race subreddit which has so far attracted over 640 comments.

To its credit, Blizzard responded to the criticism around the missing support for ultra-widescreen resolutions and issued the following response:

By keeping the aspect ratio fairly limited we were able to allow the artists (primarily UI and animators of first person geometry, but also environment artists) to focus on creating the best experience for the vast majority of the player base. Beyond just framing preferences, currently there is also a lot of stuff that happens just off the edge of the screen which was not intended to be visible.

Taking all of these into account, we decided to limit our aspect ratio to provide a better overall experience that represents the quality bar we would like for the game. However, we are continuing to examine the implications of loosening this limit for a future patch.

However, Overwatch gamers were not placated by Blizzard's claims and cited other games, such as Team Fortress 2, Battlefield 4, DOTA 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, which support 21:9 resolutions. Notably, Team Fortress 2, which will turn nine years old in October, still receives regular updates from Valve to add new elements to the game and iron out bugs.

So far, Blizzard has continued to resist calls to reinstate support for ultra-widescreen resolutions in Overwatch. However, a workaround has been posted on Widescreen Gaming Forum which, while not ideal, stretches graphics output at a 16:9 resolution to fill a 21:9 monitor.

Source: PC Master Race subreddit

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