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 AMA, game 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 that the question as to why there aren’t more at release is reasonable.
“For context, development of Overwatch 2 was initially split between the PvE and PvP sides of the game, and the way it was scheduled was to get most parts of the game completed once the game was ready to ship. To be clear, there is no secret vault of completed heroes and other content that we’re holding for future seasons.
“As we continued to iterate on the PvE side of the game it meant that the schedule 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 content as soon as we can rather than holding the release of the game to create more heroes. This is also the reason we’re so excited to go F2P and release content on a seasonal basis – namely to release content when it’s finished rather than holding it to put into a box.”
The free-to-play model is following a new plan with the team growing (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 different “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 accomplish 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, a 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.