Activision Blizzard has confirmed that Overwatch 2, which will be an “always-on and ever-evolving” free-to-play game when it launches in early access on October 4, will ditch its predecessor’s lootboxes in favor of a seasonal battle pass and – game store.
This news was shared during an extended Overwatch 2 live stream tonight, primarily focused on the game’s live service model and seasonal content plan – the latter, according to Overwatch 2’s Game Director. , Aaron Keller, will allow Blizzard to deliver new content to players. on a more “frequent and consistent” basis compared to the original game.
Each season will last nine weeks and will alternately add a new hero and then a new map. It’s a little different for Season 1, though, with Blizzard promising three new heroes, six new maps, the new Push game mode, weekly challenges, over 30 new skins, and a new Mythic skin when things start on October 4 in tandem with Overwatch 2 Early Access launch.
Release day will feature Sojourn, Junker Queen, and a new support hero to be revealed at a later date, while new maps will include Midtown, Portugal, and other “iconic locations” around the world. Content from Overwatch 1 will also return in the form of revamped heroes, PvP maps, and “fan favorite” modes.
As for cosmetics, which form the core of Overwatch 2’s free monetization model, they can be unlocked through the new Seasonal Battle Pass or purchased through the in-game store. Expect to see weapon charms, banners, and skins (including new mythic skins, described as the next level above legendary), which, Blizzard notes, can be used on any platform, regardless of where they are earned, thanks to cross-progression and cross-play.
The second season of Overwatch 2 arrives on December 6 and promises a new tank hero, a new map, over 30 new skins, a new mythic skin and a new battle pass, and this basic release framework will continue until ‘ in 2023. Next year will see the introduction of two more support heroes, as well as another tank, and that’s also when Overwatch 2’s much-vaunted PvE will finally arrive, giving players the chance to experience the game’s ongoing lore firsthand.
Ahead of all that, the second closed beta of Overwatch 2 will launch on PC and consoles on June 28, featuring the new Rio map and new ax-wielding tank hero Junker Queen, who received a cutscene from extended intro during today’s live stream. Registration is now open for those who wish to participate.
Today’s Overwatch 2 update arrives on the same day as Activision Blizzard – after nearly a year of shocking allegations it has fostered a corporate culture where sexual harassment, assault and inappropriate behaviors were allowed to thrive – announced that he had investigated himself and decided that there was “no widespread harassment or systemic harassment” at the company.
He also insisted that there was “no evidence to suggest that senior executives at Activision Blizzard ever intentionally ignored or attempted to downplay instances of gender-based harassment that occurred and were reported”, despite a damning report from the Wall Street Journal in November claiming that Bobby Kotick had been aware of the allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse of female employees in many areas of the company “for years”, but had not acted on it or told the board of directors and officers everything he knew.