Overwatch 2 will seemingly make a serious change to how Blizzard Leisure rolls out new heroes for the sport, in keeping with leaked particulars in regards to the sequel’s battle move design. As a substitute of being obtainable to all gamers instantly once they launch, new heroes might be obtainable to premium battle move house owners on launch, whereas different gamers will unlock them by progressing by the free battle move observe — or outright paying for them.
These leaked particulars additionally embody the title of Overwatch’s subsequent hero: Kiriko, a support-class character who has beforehand been teased in trailers for Overwatch 2. Blizzard has not formally introduced Kiriko, however has dedicated to including a brand new assist character for Overwatch 2’s launch in October.
New particulars about Overwatch 2 and its battle move plans come from an outline on Blizzard’s personal web site for the sport’s Watchpoint Pack, a paid model of the free-to-play recreation that features cosmetics, the season 1 premium battle move, and different perks. Right here’s a portion of that description, which Blizzard has since eliminated:
With the Season One Premium Battle Go you’ll be able to unlock over 80 tiers of rewards together with Mythic Cyber Demon Genji, Legendary Hinotori Kiriko, and extra. As well as, as a Season One Premium Battle Go proprietor you’ll mechanically obtain entry to Overwatch’s newest hero Kiriko!
Upon studying that new heroes is perhaps locked behind the battle move, followers expressed issues in regards to the change to how characters could be rolled out for Overwatch 2, mentioning that it runs opposite to the sport’s design — switching heroes and counter-picking heroes mid-game is constructed into the sport’s design, and all gamers not getting access to all heroes would influence gameplay. That was the reasoning behind releasing the unique Overwatch as a full-priced recreation in 2016.
Overwatch business chief and Blizzard VP John Spector addressed these issues — in a means — on Twitter, saying that the leaked details about the battle move was “incomplete.”
“We’ll be sharing all particulars forward of launch, however wish to verify that new Overwatch 2 heroes might be obtainable on the free observe of the Battle Go,” Spector mentioned. That remark has seemingly completed little to assuage fears that the free-to-play monetization of Overwatch 2 will have an effect on the way it performs past beauty choices for gamers.
But when the leaked particulars in regards to the battle move are correct, the plan to limit the rollout of latest heroes through a battle move gained’t be drastically completely different from how different free-to-play shooters, like Apex Legends or Valorant, deal with new additions to their rosters. The potential upside for Overwatch 2 gamers with tiered hero rollouts may very well be shorter queue occasions, as solely a portion of the participant base might be preventing to say the shiny new addition to the playable roster once they launch.
Polygon has reached out to Blizzard for added readability and touch upon Overwatch 2’s battle move and the way they’ll have an effect on new heroes, and can replace this story when the corporate responds.