Overwatch 2, in particular, is one they're touting as a "true sequel," one that will "redefine" what a game sequel is. And no new game is complete without new characters.
So far, there has only been one new confirmed character--Sojourn--and many hints of more characters to come. There's a lot of speculation, and very few concrete confirmations.
And while Sojourn was confirmed to be in Overwatch 2, there was no word to if she is Hero 32--the next hero in the lineup. We don't even know what role she will be, though judging by the gameplay video shown in the opening ceremony, she seems to be another Damage hero.
Not much is known about Sojourn. We do know she is Canadian - which could explain why one of the new maps is Toronto - and has worked in Overwatch since the beginning. She has appeared in background roles in some of the game's other cinematics, and she had a large role in the most recent Archives event, 'Storm Rising.' She's a captain, who worked closely with other heroes like Soldier: 76, Ana, Tracer, and Winston. She has cybernetic implants, including an awesome arm cannon, both of which will undoubtedly play into her in-game abilities.
At the What's Next panel for Overwatch, Game Director Jeff Kaplan and Assistant Game Director Aaron Keller spoke more in detail about the game. While no other new characters were named, they did say that all the current 31 heroes would be getting new looks. With the new game engine, they developed new ways to animate hair and skin, and have completely rebuilt how everyone looks. And they are beautiful.
Kaplan even bragged about how proud they were of their new character models, saying that they made it so that you could see even more of them while playing.
Unfortunately, the majority of the game is still mostly in early development, and there is no known release date. But with the announcement of the game, Kaplan said that large events for the original Overwatch would not happen, as they would be spending most of their time developing Overwatch 2. There will still be new skins and cosmetics for their events, but the bigger things, specifically the Archives event, would not have new game or story modes.
You can watch the panels from this year's BlizzCon here. Some of the panels require a Virtual Ticket to watch.
Sources: Blizzard Entertainment