Despite its share of delays and setbacks, Blizzard Entertainment’s Overwatch 2 is now going forward with an early access, free-to-play launch. It will offer three new heroes – Junker Queen, Sojourn and an unrevealed hero. This may not seem like a lot, especially since the last new hero was Echo in April 2020.
In a recent Reddit AMAgame director Aaron Keller spoke about the number of heroes available when the sequel launches. “Overwatch heroes are incredibly exciting. We pour our hearts and souls into everyone that we create. Seeing the community’s desire for more feels great to the team (we want more too!) And I think the question is why there isn’t more at release is reasonable.
“For context, development of Overwatch 2 was originally split between the PvE and PvP sides of the game, and the way it was scheduled to get most parts of the game completed once the game was ready to ship. To be clear, there is no secret that we are holding for future seasons.
“As we have continued to fly on the PvE side of the game it has been scheduled for PvP content and features went longer. Many of the features of PvE, such as the enemy units or hero talents, utilize the same resources on the team as heroes do. For us, it’s more important to start shipping more content. This is also the reason we are so excited to go to F2P and release content when it is finished rather than holding it into a box. ”
The free-to-play model is following a growing team (it’s now three times larger than at launch) and undergoing restructuring. Several heroes are “deep in development” – for instance, the new hero coming in Season 2 is almost finished. The next three heroes are also in “stages of playtesting” with two of them being Supports. Keller also confirmed that the team has “big plans for the game, beyond new heroes, maps and game modes, and to achieve these while still creating content for our seasons takes a lot of resources and a lot of planning.”
Overwatch 2 launches on October 4th for Xbox Series X / S, Xbox One, PS4, PS5, PC and Nintendo Switch with Season 1 kicking off on the same day. According to the current roadmap, Season 2 goes live on December 6th. It adds a new map, Tank hero, more than 30 new skins, and new Mythic skin and a new Battle Pass. More than 100 new skins are coming in 2023 along with the first PvE content, new heroes, maps and modes. Stay tuned for more details in the coming months.