Overwatch 2 | PvE Hero Mode scrapped

overwatch 2 pve

Overwatch 2′s PvE Hero Mode, one of its major selling points, has been cancelled, as Blizzard decides to “shift strategy.”


Once one of its major upcoming features, Overwatch 2's plaver-versus-environment Hero Mode has been cancelled. Blizzard made the announcement via a Twitch stream (as reported by IGN), in which the developer laid out its roadmap for the multiplayer shooter’s future. Clearly, PvE is no longer part of that future.

“Development on the PvE experience hasn’t really hasn’t made the progress that we have hoped,” said executive producer Jared Neuss in that 16 May stream.

Overwatch 2′s Hero Mode was first announced in 2019, and was one of its major selling points as Blizzard coaxed players across from the original Overwatch to its sequel. An ambitious, story-driven campaign, it would have seen players gather in squads to complete missions. In a sign of how dedicated Blizzard originally was to that mode, the entire game’s engine was built around supporting larger maps that would contain all of that PvE content. Overwatch 2 launched in October 2022, but without that PvE mode; it would, Blizzard said, follow along at a later date.

Behind the scenes, however, Blizzard’s developers struggled with the balancing act of making an ongoing live service game (that’s Overwatch 2's base PvP mode) as well as a separate, narrative experience – essentially its own standalone game. Game director Aaron keller said this in as many words in a lengthy interview with Gamespot.

“I think the scope of the Hero Missions was really, really large, and what it was going to take to finish it was going to be a pretty remarkable, massive lift,” Keller said. “You think about making a game that is supposed to be almost its own standalone co-op experience that people are going to be able to play as a main game, and not just how do you put all of the content into that to finish it? Even just a small piece of it, the talent trees: 40 to 50 talents per Hero, over 35 plus Heroes. You’re looking at thousands of talents to make everything just to get the game out the door, plus all of the content and the missions you’d be playing to do that, and it is a pretty gargantuan ask for a team. And then, on top of that, you need to run that as a live game, so content has to continually come out for that side of the game.”

Blizzard adds that it isn’t ditching PvE entirely; there are PvE events in Overwatch 2's upcoming sixth season, for example. But for players who were looking forward to a dedicated story-led campaign, it’s far from good news.

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