Blizzard cancels Overwatch 2 PvE mode, explains why

Blizzard cancels Overwatch 2 PvE mode, explains why
Image courtesy of Blizzard

Written by 

Lloyd Coombes


16th May 2023 20:57

Overwatch 2's PvP launched late last year, but many fans have been itching for the new PvE mode that would provide deeper interactions between its roster of characters.

Sadly, though, that's not happening - Blizzard has cancelled the mode, meaning Overwatch 2 will see a revised seasonal roadmap going forward.

Overwatch 2 PvE cancelled

You can check out footage from Blizzcon 2019 below, showcasing the now-cancelled PvE mode.

In an interview with Gamespot, Game Director Aaron Keller and Executive Producer Jared Neuss revealed how the shift came to pass - but refused to confirm PvE elements won't be added to the game in some capacity.

"We are doing part of what the team had set out to do, but not the entirety of what was discussed back at BlizzCon 2019," Keller explained.

"So the real focus is on the story missions and that experience as opposed to the more open-ended hero mode and that stuff."

He then clarified the Hero mode Mode and progression system are the main casualties here, before explaining how the mode ended up on the cutting room floor, noting the challenges of balancing and developing Overwatch 2's core PvP mode with the PvE side.

"As we were running up to launching Overwatch 2, we realized that we could not build that other game. We couldn't save up all of that content over the course of what was looking to be at least the next several years to finish it, and by doing that, pulling more and more resources away from the people that were all playing our game and all the people that would be playing Overwatch 2."

Neuss explained that the Hero mode was "significantly different than Archives or other ways that [we've] told stories inside the game before", suggesting it had been too ambitious given the balancing act of PvP development.

Discussing the future of Overwatch 2, Keller revealed Season 6 is "the biggest season we've ever launched in the history of Overwatch" (the game is currently in Season 4) and will feature a new Support Hero, Game Mode, PvE event, and two new maps.

Given how Overwatch 2 was a tough sell for much of the community migrating from the first game, it remains to be seen how the fanbase will react.

A quick glance at the Overwatch subreddit shows the fanbase is disappointed, but comparisons have been drawn to Fortnite which essentially jettisoned its "Save the World" PvE mode in favour of the battle royale that became so ubiquitous.

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