Update [Thu 18th May, 2023 03:05 BST]:
Overwatch 2 executive producer Jared Neuss has now responded to the community backlash in a series of tweets, reiterating how the cancellation of the PvE Hero Mode wasn't an easy decision and was equally as difficult for the development team. A follow-up blog will provide more context about what's next for the "new stories" of Overwatch.
"A clarification that I wanted to make is that, while we made the decision to cut Hero Mode + Talents, we have a lot of great PvE content coming this year. Big story missions, new cinematics, co-op events and single player Hero Mastery missions are all on the way. I also want to acknowledge that today has been a challenging day for many of us in the Overwatch community - players and developers alike. We understand that today's news about the scope of PvE is frustrating. We on the OW leadership team didn’t make the decision lightly.
"We love the world of Overwatch and have many new stories to tell. Moving in this direction gives us confidence that we can tell those stories, albeit in a different way than we originally communicated. Our next Director’s Take blog will be out on Friday with more context."
Neuss also addressed speculation about changes to PvE's scope due to Blizzard's "return to office" policy and the company losing talent - mentioning how there had already been challenges before this:
"I've seen speculation that the changes to PvE scope on Overwatch 2 are related to Blizzard's RTO policy. For the record, that isn't true. Managing PvE and PvP development simultaneously has been a challenge for the team for years. It's a less exciting headline but it's reality.
"We'll go into a bit more historical detail in the next Director's Take. I hope that the additional context can shed some light on why we made this decision."
President of Blizzard Entertainment Mike Ybarra chimed as well with the following words of support for the Overwatch team:
"I will always support the decisions our teams make and the many elements they balance as they do so. It's not easy changing direction - and we will learn from making such early expectations. I am proud of what the Overwatch team continues to do and I know the ambition remains high to bring great experiences to players."
Original [Wed 17th May, 2023 02:35 BST]:
Blizzard's Overwatch 2 development team has today announced the cancellation of the game's long-awaited PvE Hero Mode.
While there will still be PvE elements going forward, the main mode the company promised when it announced the sequel to the popular team-based hero shooter has been officially axed. This particular mode was originally the reasoning behind the release of Overwatch 2.
Overwatch 2 executive producer Jared Neuss explained what led to this decision in a Twitch livestream - stating how the PvE experience had "not really" made the progress the team hoped it would and the effort required to ship a "Blizzard-quality experience" would be huge, with no end date in sight.
"With everything we have learned about what it takes to operate this game at the level that you deserve, it's clear that we can't deliver on that original vision for PvE that was shown in 2019. What that means is that we won't be delivering that dedicated hero mode with talent trees, that long-term talent power progression. Those things are just not in our plans anymore. And we know that this is going to be disappointing to many of you which is why we wanted to bring it up before we talk about the road map."
Neuss went on to mention how it's been just as difficult for the team to come to terms with this decision, as many members poured their "heart and soul" into the now-cancelled mode. Speaking to Gamespot, Overwatch 2 game director Aaron Keller mentioned how the team was "still committed to PvE" but was just doing it in a different way than it originally talked about.
Here's what the roadmap now looks like for Overwatch 2, which includes new story-driven missions to play through:
How do you feel about the PvE Hero Mode being axed? Were you looking forward to this? Comment below.
Blizzard sucking as always.
Translation; it takes too much effort and we would rather keep doing the minimum to profit off of people with loot boxes
And so now it is just Overwatch 1 with a big balance patch, fantastic. Blizzard being a terrible company as always.
@StarPoint @Joeynator3000 Once MS gets the ok to finish the purchase, things will change.
So I guess that there's practically no point in calling this a sequel, then?
Blizzard was never going to pull that off to any level of acceptability anyway.
Also - with all the 'staffing' issues they are having it is zero surprise.
@Tasuki Yeah it'll change...it'll no longer be on Playstation or Nintendo consoles.
They’re still adding story missions so I’m good with it. I wasn’t very excited about hero mode because I remember the Battleborn level up system and it wasn’t much fun for me.
I’m not generally into FPS due to motion sickness, so usually it has to have a single player focus, rpg elements, and be just top of the line in order for me to put my balance sensors through it.
That said, I’d be ALL about a Blizzard FPS in the vein of Diablo/Borderlands. Holy crap that would be amazing.
Never played OW2, but dabbled in OW1 and it was smooth and really well done. Exactly what I’d expect from a blizzard game. Now if they could just make an OW Rpg…..
I'm not an Overwatch player but isn't PVE the biggest feature that made Overwatch 2 different from the first game?
Wow, really blizzard? That was literally the only reason this was called a sequel, the only reason, But it’s understandable, the overpriced skins just didn’t make them enough money, and they had too cancel it, they had too, it’s ok.
Shame, was actually looking forward to it
So Overwatch 2 is literally NOT a sequel then? They've released nothing for it, other than butcher PvP and come out with seasonal bullcrap. Great...
People that support Kotick's personal enrichment merger scheme are an embarrassment to their family, friends and pets.
@Tasuki will it though?
Has Bethesda changed since Microsoft bought them?
I would like them to change, but so far we haven’t seen Microsoft is willing to do that
@Tasuki I have a bridge to sell you if you think that. It certainly didn’t help Arkane.
@LilyGoMEOW Right because Microsoft is not a software company.
@Tasuki good to see you still kicking man!! sorry if i stopped keeping in touch!
@Link977 Good to see you as well. Yeah I am still around.
@Tasuki ill add ya on psn maybe we can party chat sometime x)
@Tasuki Judging by the crap plus nonexistent games MS has been putting out the only changes I see are for the worse...
@Link977 Actually I am very rarely on PSN nowadays. Mostly on Xbox and Switch. If you backloggery is still active you can hit me up there as well.
@tasuki will do man 😎
Removed - trolling
Everything about this "sequel" has been handled so bad it's crazy.
It hurts to hear this after years of getting hyped. Blizzard used to be a company that delivered the craziest games. And now it just feels like they're giving up that magic they had for a more beneficial financial stream. With going free to play and added battle passes to all games..
Well this just means Overwatch 2 is just a scam, hardly any new content and it's main selling point in past trailers was the PvE mode, for me that was the only things giving it credit to call itself a sequel. Now it's just a scam way of making it free to play and getting more people to pay for MTX via battle passes, and using the PvE mode as an incentive to make more players interested in the game not moan too much about the current lack of differences from the first game.
Wouldn't surprise me if they planned this all along, I wouldn't put anything past this company anymore and will only get worse under Microsoft once their games need that sweet MTX money to be sustainable on gamepass.
Stopped updating Overwatch for three years just to cancel the whole main selling point of the new version... not gonna lie I feel for whoever worked so hard on this mode.
Well, Activision Blizzard has the Flaws every big Company or Institution has, it is very hard to change such Arthtosis within the Structures.
It is also hard to guess from the Outside, how many truly constructive and onward bringing Persons there are.
I am personally very sceptic about Activision Blizzard and there Products.
Diablo 2 Ressurrected is awsome though, but this wasn't handled by Blizzard
Ah yes classic Acti Blizzard, unable to meet the minimum expectations with their great team of professionals
They can't make the simplest vgs now, what are they still doing on the market
There’s still going to be PvE though, just not what was originally advertised. Boo Blizzard for misrepresenting their product, but Boo NintendoLife for a misleading headline
But also: isn’t this the villain’s evil plan from Free Guy?
Removed - trolling; user is banned
I'm just gonna go back to forgetting this game exists.
@westman98 Yes. That was the initial justification to get rid of OW1 and migrate to OW2.
"Blizzard quality" is not something to be proud of anymore. They ship trash. So it must have been REALLY bad.
Overwatch 2 is basically Overwatch 1 with terrible F2P trash. Microsoft should buy this company already and fire everyone who works on this crap.
I already am not getting Diablo IV.
@Cashews my dog insisted I wear a scarlet letter any time i'll be playing Diablo 4. Damned Kotick!
Activision and Blizzard merging and becoming Activision Blizzard was terrible for Blizzard fans.
But relax, doing this again by allowing Microsoft to buy Activision Blizzard is the solution to fix Blizzard.
Bait and switch. Releasing Overwatch 2 was just an excuse to include scummy monetization.
Did anybody actually play Overwatch 2? I know a LOT of people who were holding off for the hero mode. They will NOT be happy...
I have played Overwatch for years, and I will definitely admit that this is a disappointment, but it reminds me to treasure Salmon Run!
There was a planned PVE? Guess I knew that....oh well, back to playing Overwatch!
Nice move. Promise them a sequel while you sell them season passes.
And they pulled it off!
And the Team Fortress 2 mercs just keep laughing.
i would like to play Overwatch Story Campaign Rather than PVP
I wasn't totally against Overwatch 2 like a lot of others. I love the original Overwatch and I was willing to give Blizzard a chance to prove that Overwatch 2 could work as a free to play game.
However, I can say with all certainty that I have basically moved on completely from the series. I don't think it's fun anymore and I'm completely disappointed that they're walking away from a this mode after years of work and promises.
Blizzard is having a real nice time with their snake oil salesman routine.
@ComfyAko and it's not even expectations that are coming from us, it's goals they set for themselves.
I read an interview with the lead director where he was essentially saying " Do you understand how much work it would take to make 50 talents for each of the characters?? It's like really really hard"
I'm obviously paraphrasing but i swear it's the gist of what he said. It's truly a shame that a company with such great ips has resorted to lying and scamming their player-base....
@Nico85 Yeah, and it's something completely normal for every game, even low budget ones. Even CoD, the simplest simplicity, has a campaign. It's a tiny demo campaign with story just being there, but it exists.
Overwatch is an interesting case overall. The balance is so bad that you can get reported for playing certain heroes, team balance doesn't exist (95% of the time I was the designated nanny who carried the whole team, and we would get nowhere unless I killed the whole enemy team), ranks mean nothing, the rubberbanding literally tells you that people shoot each other mostly through the walls... what a brilliant mess.
There is also a tiny league of "professional esport players", I giggle every time I remind myself that it somehow exists.
The main problem is that it somehow still earns them money, so nobody will fix it. And that's the whole Acti - Blizzard. The last decent game they released was WarCraft 3. And we get to watch the company wither away in agony very, very slowly.
Removed - inappropriate language
I’m not sure why they felt the need to further clarify this. It’d divide the community even if they ended up releasing an inferior product. There was no winning in this situation.
People who continue to support this company are just as much a part of the problem as Activision.
Adding local wireless multiplayer would be a correct move. Dlc content can still be bought. But the idea alone of shutting the servers down sometime and killing the game without local wireless doesnt shine a good light on Blizzard, again. It's like Diablo 3 and this autoaiming: Killing all playability and with that the best that could have been. I really hope that the modding community heals Overwatch 2 by injecting local wireless multiplayer should Blizzard not finally become convenient ! The world doesn't get more beautiful by trashing great devices because of sad gamers and shut down servers ! This must stop finally ! We must stand up and fight this !
@Tasuki sent you pm on backloggery lol not sure how often you check or if you can even get notifs in any shape or form from backloggery, but just a ping i suppose
PvE > PvP
That’s because I won’t buy Splatoon 3.
@Rykdrew Salmon Run and Story Mode are both PvE modes in Splatoon 3.
@Link977 Just got off work, checking it now.
This is a little disappointing, to be honest. I'm not very good in PvP mode for any game, Overwatch or otherwise, so I would prefer a PvE or co-op mode if I have to play with other people.
But personally, I am hoping that they instead release a single-player game set in the Overwatch universe. As you progress through the game, you unlock each character. And to encourage replay value, each level can be replayed with other characters to uncover new secrets or routes.
In their own words, making PvE for OW2 "doesn't align with the set of values they have chosen". If they actually got back to programming instead of living up their own backsides maybe their games would stop being broken messes!
Everyone saying "it's no different to Overwatch 1" is crazy. It's **so much worse**. I played the original daily on switch for a couple of years, but performance on 2 is hopeless. Gave up on it after a couple of days.
@AstroTheGamosian They just told you that they won't be doing any of that. So why wish Activision will give you something? Abandoning the company is a much more sensible route. They certainly do not care about your wishes or desires.
@LilyGoMEOW mate. Microsoft has characters in smash bros and mine craft is jn evey platform ever.
They're model is more about putting their services everywhere than exclusivity.
Though it would be funny as heck if they pulled out of playstation and only playstation.
Ever since OW2 launched without any of the PvE stuff, I knew it wouldn’t happen. Seems pretty clear they overpromised.
That being said, OW2 is still fun for me. But it really isn’t a different a game. The only difference is they made it f2p and added the battlepass.
@Tourtus I don´t like story mode, i like the battle. There is no arena battles team versus team PvE in Splatoon 3. I want a AI against me. Not kill a lot of dumb minions coop or story.
I love the PvE Rocket League game!
I love the PvE Plants vs Zombies Battle for Neighborville (and Garden Warfare 2) against the AI team.
Amazing, they axed the one thing the game potentially had going for it, the main pull, and the really only unique thing about it. How utterly awful of a decision. Bruh.
I just thought of when Blizzard sold professional teams to represent cities in America because eSport was the ultimate buzzword and then people paid millions for those teams of asian players. A decent laugh before I log off.
Wow (no pun intended) what a twist of fate. Remember when Overwatch first came out and everyone and their uncle thought it was the best thing ever? I played overwatch a lot for a brief period and then quit after getting bored of the team death match over and over. Fast forward to now where there is supposedly a new game yet I’ve not heard anything new about it aside from some characters. It’s crazy how such a lauded game can have the tables turn and now everyone associates it with lack of innovation. Tbh though I’ve never understood why they made all these cool characters that have backstories just to shove them in a TF2 type shooter with no story mode and now it looks like there will not be a story mode at all with the announcement of the cancelled PvE mode. What a waste of cool story telling opportunities.
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