As the big holiday 2022 season draws near, fans are starting to get excited about their most anticipated games. One of these titles is the next entry in the acclaimed hero shooter series, Overwatch. Activision Blizzard is back with Overwatch 2, however, things are a little bit different this time around.
As announced earlier this year, Overwatch 2 will be a free-to-play title. This is quite the contrast in comparison to the first game.
Naturally, there have to be repercussions of being a AAA free-to-play title, and Activision Blizzard has already confirmed one of the major changes to the game's system that is making fans uncomfortable.
Overwatch 2 Heroes are locked behind the battle pass and fans are not happy
In Overwatch 2, unlocking new heroes will be tied to the game's battle pass. As mentioned above, some veteran fans aren't too pleased about this situation. In fact, many have already shared their disappointment on various social media platforms regarding this decision.
The news first leaked on Resetera, where user Solidsnakejej posted a screenshot of a since-then removed description of Overwatch 2, including details on the season 1 battle pass.
According to the leaked description, Overwatch 2 season 1 premium battle pass owners will get instant access to the new hero Kiriko. In Overwatch, all new heroes were instantly available for all players so naturally, this leak didn't sit well with fans.
Since then, Overwatch Commercial Leader & VP at Blizzard, Jon Spector, has confirmed that all the new Overwatch 2 heroes will also be available via the free battle pass.
Overwatch 2's pay-to-win mechanics are concerning
As everyone can guess, unlocking new Heros via the free battle pass would require a grind, something that's been the norm for the free-to-play live-service games for a while. The heroes may be available in the earlier tiers, or they could be locked at the very end.
We are placing our money on the latter since it wouldn't make sense from Blizzard's side to make the game's most important aspect so readily available for the free players.
To get some clarity on the matter, a Twitter user named Dorwulf asked Spector, whether locking Heros behind the battle pass would mean free players won't be available to acquire them if they didn't grind enough in a particular season.
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Spector, instead of clarifying, said, "We will have free paths to get new heroes in future seasons too."
The statement, as one would expect, caused more concerns than relief. One Twitter user, Slike, lashed out at Spector stating the following -
"EXCUSE ME??? THAT WASN’T THE QUESTION. ANSWER THE QUESTION. IT’S AN AWFUL SYSTEM EITHER WAY TO LOCK HEROES LIKE THAT. STOP THAT. THIS ISN’T VALORANT, THE GAMES DONT FUNCTION THE SAME HELL, EVEN FORTNITE ONLY DOES PURE COSMETICS IN THEIR BP AS MUCH AS I DESPISE THAT GAME."
Overwatch 2 isn't the first free-to-play title from Activision Blizzard that's under fire from the series' veteran fans. Diablo Immortal, the free-to-play mobile title, created quite the controversy earlier this year with its pay-to-win elements and the insane grind in the end-game activities.
Whether Overwatch 2 will be a consumerfriendly experience or traverse the same path Diablo Immortal took remains to be seen.
Thankfully, fans won't have to wait much longer to find out as Overwatch 2 launches on 4th October 2022 for PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.
For more on the game, check our section dedicated to Overwatch 2 news, guides, and features.
Featured image courtesy of Activision Blizzard.