Blizzard Entertainment is changing up its approach significantly with Overwatch 2. It launches into early access on October 4th and, unlike the first game, will be free-to-play. Loot boxes are also going away in favor of a Battle Pass and in-game store with Virtual Currency to purchase cosmetics.
What does this mean for Overwatch 1 users transitioning to the sequel? All unlocked cosmetics will carry over but loot boxes won’t. In a Reddit AMA, commercial lead Jon Spector talked about what’s carrying over. “To give you a quick answer now though, those existing currencies (Credits, OWL tokens, and Competitive Points) will come with you into Overwatch 2. We are not transitioning loot boxes into Overwatch 2, and ahead of launch, any unopened loot boxes will be automatically opened with your account receiving all the contents directly.”
He also clarified that “Overwatch 1 Credits come with you to Overwatch 2, but our new Virtual Currency will be the main currency, and there will be things in Overwatch 2 that will not be purchasable with those Overwatch 1 Credits.” More details will be revealed before the early access launch in October.
Along with the new Battle Pass system are Challenges that players must complete to rank up. Regarding the types of Challenges available, Spector said, “We are planning to add a variety of Challenges that players can complete to progress their Battle Pass. We are not planning hero-specific recurring Challenges – we are planning lifetime Challenges that feel a bit more like achievements and aren’t intended to progress the Battle Pass in a significant way.
“We want players to play the game without feeling required to swap onto a specific hero to earn progress. Our goal is to also offer you some choices in which Challenges you focus on completing as well.” For the most part, it seems that the system will be flexible, which is a good thing. After all, games like Halo Infinite suffered due to their Challenges having very specific requirements on top of not giving much XP.
Overwatch 2 early access will be available for Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, PC and Nintendo Switch. Its next closed beta, which features two new maps and the Junker Queen as a new hero, goes live on June 28th for consoles and PC.