Bandai Namco is throwing down the gauntlet with the Gundam Evolution launch date of September 21st, 2022, setting it up to directly compete with Overwatch 2’s launch merely two weeks later… at least, on PC. The console versions are currently set to launch on December 1st, 2022.
After many fans were unhappy with the changes to Overwatch’s gameplay, Gundam Evolution is looking to scoop them up and this move tells me that Bandai Namco has big plans and high hopes for their game. I feel like doing a split launch between PC and console may have some drawbacks, but I’m very happy to see they have such strong faith in the launch.
Alongside the Gundam Evolution release date announcement, three new mobile suits were revealed for the game:
- Zaku-II (Melee Loadout) — A new variant of the Zaku-II with a focus on melee combat.
- Mahiroo — A mid-range unit that seems focused on explosives and area denial.
- Gundam Unicorn — A long-range unit with what looks like some incredible pressure potential.
Get ready to go above and BEYOND!
GUNDAM EVOLUTION is coming strong with more Mobile Suits you can customize and pilot to lead your team to victory!
— GUNDAM EVOLUTION (@gundamevolution) September 6, 2022
At the end of August, Gundam Evolution launched an e-sports Twitter account. In the announcement, it was said “this will be the home for competitive Gundam Evolution wherever it may be!” Fans will be able to find tips from top players, recaps of tournaments, and interact with the game’s community. Most surprising to me was the mention of tournaments. It’s important to note that they did not say who would be hosting said tournaments, but if the developers do indeed plan to host them, that’s huge news. Outside their traditional fighting games (Tekken, Soul Calibur, and Dragon Ball Fighterz), there’s never been this big of a push behind their games.
Only time will tell if this staggered launch will hurt or help the Gundam Evolution release and if it will be able to withstand the competition of Overwatch 2. At best, it could become a welcome alternative. At worst, I expect a small but dedicated player base with support ending after a year or so. When the survey results were made public, the development team seemed to take the balance criticisms to heart, with yours truly getting their frustrations with Barbatos featured. So, if nothing else, they at least seem to care about the game’s balance for the general public, which is more than could be said for the competition. I loved my time with both the console and PC betas earlier in the year, and will be playing on launch week.
Gundam Evolution launches on September 22nd, 2022 on PC via Steam with a console launch on Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5 set for December 1st, 2022.