With battle passes and new content every season, Overwatch 2 is shifting to a free-to-play model. Players will receive a new hero or map every nine weeks, with the developers continuing to make updates in perpetuity.
Although Overwatch 2''s adjustments might appear a little over time, they fix the original game''s biggest flaw, namely that it isn''t capable to provide long-term improvements. The changes are also driven by substantial under-the-hood upgrades that should ensure that fans won''t have to experience a content drought ever again.
Sign-ups for the second Overwatch 2 beta are now open for PC and console players, and the game is scheduled to launch in early access on October 4.
In 2019, Overwatch 2 was announced with a bang (and some controversy) at BlizzCon, but it was followed by two years of virtual silence. However, Overwatch players were given hope of a new game, but waited months with no news on how the game was progressing. This made the game feel as if it was or because of a global pandemic, or a workplace that is allegedly drowning in harassment or churn in the executive ranks.
Overwatch 2 was finally released with a steady stream of information on June 16 and how it compares to its predecessor. During a reveal event, we received the most detailed look ever at the future of Overwatch, and fans should be hopeful that the shooters return to glory. The developers spoke about the game''s transition to a live-service model, explaining how they will continue to offer new content to the game for years to come.
Is it possible that these changes had happened sooner than those that would result in a multi-year content drought? Yes, yes, and yes, the changes are certainly acceptable. However, the game''s future corrections also seem to be the correct direction for the game. Overwatch''s problems have been so widespread in the past.
Heres why fans should finally be optimistic about Overwatch 2, including plans for the first two PvP seasons, the end of loot boxes, and the introduction of a new tank hero that I will be one-tricking for the future: Junker Queen.
Overwatch 2 release date
Overwatch 2 will be available on PC, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch. Players who purchase the game before 11 a.m. PT on June 23 will also get the Founders Pack, which includes skins for Sombra and Doomfist, as well as an exclusive player icon and a once-unannounced gift.
Cant wait until the end? Overwatch 2 will be given a second beta on Tuesday, June 28, at 11:59 p.m. PT. Players will be able to play as Junker Queen on the new map, Rio, home to Lucio. The Watchpoint Pack is now available for $40, and includes exclusive skins for Cassidy and Soldier 76 as well as the premium battle pass for season 1, as well as an in-game currency.
Overwatch 2 content roadmap
At Thursdays event, Overwatch 2 developers announced a slew of changes to the game. Outside of the move to 5v5, which majorly shakes up the game, no individual change feels like a titanic shift. However, the sum of the changes should make for a gaming experience that integrates familiar free-to-play structures with Overwatch''s unique, vibrant gameplay.
Here''s what we''ve known so far:
Players can alter their colors using mythic skins.
The latest information about season plans might be the most outrageous news from the Thursdays event. In the live game, seasons begin and close pretty arbitrarily, with nothing to distinguish one from the next. Each season of Overwatch will finally have its own identity, and, most importantly, will give players a reason to continue playing season after season.
Before the launch of Overwatch 2, I asked the game''s director of game Aaron Keller what will make it stand out from other free-to-play titles that follow similar seasonal releases. He said: Overwatch is special. I think that magic is still a part of Overwatch 2. I believe it will continue to draw fans in with its fast-paced gameplay, unique heroes, and a long line of exciting releases.
I can only say that as a player who has been playing the game for five years, I am uneasy.
Over the first two seasons, players will see four new heroes and seven new maps.
Overwatch''s VP and commercial lead said that players want more, they want more heroes, they want more maps, and they want to experiment new gameplay modes. This is why game developers like Destiny 2, Apex Legends, Valorant, and others have adopted the free-to-play, pay-for-cosmetics structure.
The removal of loot boxes is a welcome move and helps distinguish Overwatch from the more severe aspects of the recent Diablo Immortal launch. However, we will have to wait until further details about the overall business model for Overwatch 2.
Overwatch 2 new hero: Junker Queen
Overwatch 2''s queen will play the game if she''s first appeared on posters on the Junkertown escort map. Her abilities will allow her to grapple with challenges and even damage. Everything we have ever seen so far screams aggressive, in-your-face playstyle.
Blizzard has released the games'' first cinematic since the Overwatch 2 announcement trailer. The new cinematic is focusing on the Junker Queen and her power.
Mohawk? Check.Weapons? Check.Abs? Check.
Weve seen further hint at another hero in the works, most likely a support hero. The release date trailer demonstrates a brief flash of a blue fox spirit leading a team towards spectral gates.
Overwatch 2 will need additional support, with ten tank players to choose from, both damage players will choose from a roster of 17 heroes, and two support teams will split themselves between just seven heroes as well as other roles.
I asked Geoff Goodman, the lead hero designer for Overwatch 2, about the issue. He said the organization was aware of the issue, that Overwatch had increased its support over time in new hero releases, but that the team is now debating how to accelerate the process. That would be beneficial for back-to-back hero releases. He said, however, we are planning a few posts.
Overwatch 2 PvE
The PvE side of Overwatch 2 was not mentioned in the announcement video, but the developers stated that the PvE events will begin in 2023 as part of the live service. That''s as much as we know right now, but the developers said they''ll reveal additional information ahead of the release.