This is not what was promised.
Today’s news of Blizzard Entertainment scrapping its original plans for Overwatch 2’s PvE is, unsurprisingly, not going over well in the game’s community of players.
When OW2 was first announced, Blizzard promised a fleshed-out skill tree system and co-op campaign for players to enjoy. The game was released in early access with PvP only, with further promise that PvE was on the way. And it still is but in a completely stripped-down form compared to what was initially revealed.
OW2’s PvE gameplay will now be delivered in seasonal offerings, like specific missions or storylines, released alongside PvP as the game continues down the path of a live service game.
Related: Blizzard cancels original Overwatch 2 PvE campaign mode plans
As work slowly continued on Overwatch 2, we began to pull more and more of our focus and energy away from the live game, game director Aaron Keller said, explaining the reasoning behind the switch. We had a difficult choice to make. We could continue working on our original vision for Overwatch 2 without a definitive end-date in sight, or change our strategy.
With such a radical change of plans, there was bound to be outrage. But players are really not taking kindly to the news about PvE in OW2, especially considering that the original Overwatch game was taken down and replaced with OW2.
“Insane, considering they said that they HAD TO make OW2 with the updated engine so they could do all the PvE stuff which wasn’t possible in OW1,” said one Reddit commenter. “Hilarious.”
OW2’s PvE skill trees were a huge draw for the game when it was announced at BlizzCon in 2019. And now that they’re gone and the PvE players will receive is much more scant than the original promise, players are wondering just what the game’s sequel was made for.
“Wasn’t this the entire point of making it ‘Overwatch 2‘?” a Twitter user asked in reply to the news. “I thought they were going to add permanent skill trees to PVP also and it would make it fun again, instead they go back to Overwatch 1 – what did we pay for again?”
Former Overwatch League commentator DoA chimed in as well, saying that “Overwatch will go down in history as the best game with the least realized potential.”
“There’s no sugar-coating it anymore,” DoA said. “The PvE mission I played at Blizzcon 2019 was a ton of fun and I know I wasn’t alone in looking forward to a story campaign set in the OW universe. The decision is perplexing to say the least after this was set up for years to be the hallmark differenciator between one and “2.” Truly a shame since I’ve always felt like Blizz hit on something really special with the IP.”
It seems as though the outcry from players is justified. With OW2 mainly now seeming like mainly a graphical overhaul with some new content and quality-of-life improvements, marketing the game as a sequel and full new release seems more and more like a misstep than ever before. And that’s without taking into consideration the free-to-play model, which now focuses on microtransactions more than OW1 ever did.
Related: These DPS heroes are dominating the top of Overwatch 2s ranked ladder
“Three heroes, a handful of maps, horribly imbalanced and rushed five-vs-five shift, and Push,” said another commenter on Reddit. “Wow. The wait was so fuckin’ worth it.”