Two of the biggest and most highly anticipated features in Overwatch 2, a player-vs-environment (PVE) campaign mode and co-op hero missions, are no longer going to be delivered, Blizzard has admitted.
Both of these modes were big parts of the original Overwatch 2 announcement back in 2019, but their loss appeared to have been on the cards for a little while. Blizzard stopped mentioning PVE a while ago, and later announced it was focusing on PVP content first, and then filling in PVE after that. But now, it appears as if it simply doesn’t have the resources to finish a mode that seems stuck in the weeds.
“"Progress on the PvE experience hasn't made the progress that we would hope," said executive producer Jared Neuss, during a midseason livestream on May 17. "With everything we've learned about what it takes to operate this game at the level you deserve, it's clear that we can't deliver on the original vision for PvE that was shown in 2019," Neuss continued.
Some more insight into the choice came from Game director Aaron Keller, who admitted axing the modes was a difficult choice, but one that had to be made. According to Keller, it was a simple choice between carrying on with developing those PVE modes with “no end in sight”, or choosing to scale it down and be able to focus attention elsewhere.
When viewed that way, it’s clear why Blizzard make the choice to cancel the upcoming modes, but it’s still likely to be a blow to fans. Many would have been looking forward to the replayability offered by the campaign mode, while others may have enjoyed facing off against bots rather than other players. There is a silver lining for players, as there are standalone co-op missions on the way which will continue Overwatch 2’s narrative, but it’s possible those missions won’t have the replayability the original hero missions had planned.
The first story missions are due to arrive as part of Season 6, in August 2023, along with a new support hero and “hero mastery” missions, based on time trials and other challenges.
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