The next major patch for Blizzard Entertainment's first-person shooter Overwatch will require that all of the game's files be reinstalled according to a post on the game's official forums.
Overwatch pushes out patches every few weeks. Occasionally, there's a big one that requires a hefty download, but an upcoming patch will effectively require that all of the game's files be redownloaded.
The upcoming patch is stated to have some "pretty fundamental changes" to the game's client. Normally, patches would simply overwrite or update existing files, but the changes in this future version of the game are so drastic that all of the files will effectively have to be redownloaded.
A Blizzard representative speaking to Kotaku stated that the patch will be for both PC and consoles. It's intended to improve load times, optimize memory, fix bugs across a number of the game's maps, and make changes to the data format of Overwatch in order to better support future content. PlayStation 4 players will be happy to hear that the next big patch also intends to reduce the hard drive space used by the game. Blizzard calls it, in effect, a "remaster" patch.
The game client will "fully reinstall itself" - that is to say, the process will be automated so players shouldn't have to uninstall/reinstall the game of their own accord. (Well, unless something goes terribly wrong.)
One of the primary reasons Blizzard is making this announcement is out of consideration for gamers who have metered data connections. My personal Overwatch install is just under 24 gigabytes; it reaches nearly 60 gigs when I factor in the PTR and the Overwatch World Cup Viewer. A 20-60 gigabyte download can be pretty hefty for people who are unfortunate enough to have to deal with data caps from their ISP, or who have to deal with slow download speeds.
We don't yet know when this Overwatch overhaul will be deploying; Blizzard will make an announcement once they have a release date.
What do you think of the next major Overwatch patch requiring a full reinstall of the game? Have you noticed the game's performance degrading as compared to its launch? Let us know in the comments below!