Players aren't having it.
Overwatch 2 is getting a battle pass and fans are absolutely infuriated over the fact that new heroes will be locked behind it. The heroes will be on the free track of the battle pass, but that information is not quelling the rage of the fan base.
When news first broke today that the heroes will be locked behind a battle pass, the internet went wild with speculation about whether they’d have to buy the battle pass to have access to the new heroes. Not soon after, Overwatch‘s commercial leader and vice president at Blizzard Jon Spector tweeted some clarification that the heroes will be on the free track of the battle pass.
This is problematic to the community for several reasons. The first is that if a hero is locked behind a specific part of a battle pass, then that hero won’t be available for play right away, which is something Overwatch players are not used to. More importantly, heroes can’t be switched in a time of need if they’re not unlocked. Another concern was voiced in the comments underneath Spector’s tweet.
Dorwulf on Twitter asked “what happens if you don’t reach that specific tier in the battle pass?” It’s a valid concern the community has, considering not everyone plays the game consistently and will likely be locked out of characters if they miss that season’s battle pass. Spector responded and said that there will be free paths to get those heroes added in the future as well. But fans are worried that Blizzard will put them in the paid shop after the season is over and then sprinkle them into other battle passes, causing a long wait time to get the hero you missed if you don’t want to pay for it.
Overwatch 2’s battle pass system is an incredibly jarring departure from the hero release system that was used for Overwatch, so there is naturally a ton of pushback from fans worried that they will now be shelling out a ton of money for a game that they’ve felt they already paid for back when it first launched.
On Reddit, a user named TheSamuraiGunner made another great point, which is that Overwatch has always been heavily reliant on hero switches as they’re needed. In games like VALORANT, agents are locked once you pick them, so there’s no need to switch. Apex Legends is the same way, and in other games like Fortnite and Fall Guys, there are no special abilities, just cosmetics.
The closest recent example players can draw for characters locked behind some kind of grind is MultiVersus, which is a fighting game that locks characters behind currency. Players aren’t incredibly thrilled with the locked characters, but players also can’t change them at will during a match like Overwatch can. MultiVersus characters can only be switched between rounds.
Fans do know that heroes will be locked behind the free version of the battle pass and that there will be two different versions of it, just like in other games where there is a free version and a paid version. But Blizzard hasn’t released any other official information about what the battle pass will look like, so fans are left to speculate on what it will cost, how many tiers in the battle pass it will take to unlock new heroes, and more.
What players do know is that the first season will begin on Oct. 4 when the game launches and the second season will start on Dec. 6, which gives players about two months to go through the battle pass. While this might not be an issue for those who play the game regularly, it might be a problem for those who only play the game here and there and might not be able to unlock heroes every battle pass, which will leave them at a significant disadvantage.
Oct. 4 is less than a month away and players are still in the dark about many aspects of the battle pass and how it will work, so fans will need to wait for Blizzard to release more information. But for now, fans are mostly mad about the heroes being locked behind a free battle pass. Unless Overwatch 2 developers decide to pivot away from that model ahead of launch day, it is likely that Overwatch 2 will continue to be heavily criticized going forward.