Overwatch 2 devs considering more frequent Hero releases ahead of Season 6 launch

Overwatch 2 devs considering more frequent Hero releases ahead of Season 6 launch
Blizzard Entertainment

Written by 

Sascha Heinisch


10th Aug 2023 20:00

With the launch of Overwatch 2, new heroes finally started hitting the game on a regular bi-seasonal schedule. 

As the main draw of Overwatch, heroes are among the most sought-after feature releases of the game’s live-service offering and with three new ones a year on the current schedule, they certainly set the community's interest alight.

Given how popular they are, players might wonder if more releases could be in the cards.

During a developer Q&A session, the game's lead designers talked about the importance of new heroes and if the frequency of releases could be increased.

An ongoing internal discussions

With the launch of Overwatch 2 and the introduction of the live service model, the development team has tried a wide range of content releases from new maps and game modes to different arcade titles to battle pass and skin integrations.

With ten months of data since Overwatch 2’s release, the team has gained insights into what its player base likes to engage with and wants to see more of.

According to Overwatch 2 executive producer, Jared Neuss, Overwatch 2 players aren’t a group that share a collective want for new characters, but one with different tastes and profiles, all engaging with the game differently.

It really depends on the player you are talking about. Different things generate different buzz for different folks. If I said overall for the player base, I think heroes are the heart and soul of Overwatch as a franchise,” he shared.

Illari using her ultimate
Click to enlarge

As the team has expressed a desire to be receptive to the audience’s appetites, it stands to reason that an increase in hero releases could be one such way to give players more of what they enjoy.

While there are no immediate results to report, there appears to be an ongoing internal discussion around the subject as Neuss added:

Could we release heroes more frequently than we do now? Potentially. It’s something we are discussing but we don’t have any concrete plans to announce.

Art Director, Dion Rogers echoed the sentiment, stating: “I would love to! But it’s hard. It’s not easy to make an Overwatch hero and there is a lot that goes into it. It’s definitely something we’d love to increase at some point.”

With Season 6, Overwatch 2 is releasing its newest hero Illari, an offensively-minded support hero that’s expected to light up the battlefield. The next hero by the current schedule is expected to launch in season 8.

According to Neuss, the development team is currently in the planning process for the content release calendar for 2024. Until then, we’ll have to wait and see what the Overwatch team has in store for the future.

For more on Overwatch 2, check out what the devs had to say about the map voting system, as well as why one mode was cut entirely.

Sascha "Yiska" Heinisch is a Senior Esports Journalist at GGRecon. He's been creating content in esports for over 10 years, starting with Warcraft 3.

Toronto Defiant announce return to Overwatch esports
Overwatch esports division gutted just a week after OWCS announcement
OWL-winning GM shares first impressions of OWCS
Blizzard announces OWL successor, the 'Overwatch Championship Series'
OWL coaches slam players for reportedly souring dev relationship