Skip to main content

Overwatch 2 has dumped plans for their promised PvE Hero Mode

"Those things are just not in our plans anymore."

Overwatch 2's key art featuring Tracer and Mei in heroic poses
Image credit: Activision Blizzard

When Overwatch 2 was first announced at Blizzcon 2019, Blizzard promised an ambitious "highly replayable" PvE component that somewhat justified the '2' at the end of the title. Last night, the Overwatch 2 development team announced that they've scrapped most of their ideas including the Hero Missions mode which had skill trees, levelling up, and other light RPG elements shown off in the trailer below. Instead, they'll be gradually releasing co-op story missions and integrating them into their ongoing seasons, similar to how PvE operated in the first Overwatch.

Watch on YouTube

On a Twitch stream from last night, executive producer Jared Neuss said that development on the PvE portion "hasn't made the progress that we have hoped." Overwatch 2's Hero Missions mode was set to have huge maps, lots of enemy variety, and "ridiculous hero talents" that would remix every character's abilities. "Unfortunately, the effort required to pull all of that together into a Blizzard-quality experience... is huge," Neuss explained, "and there really is no end in sight or defined kind of end date where we can put that out into the world."

Neuss went on to say: "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."

Having gone through four years of development, at least, Blizzard do have plans to repurpose some of that cut content. Speaking with Gamespot, game director Aaron Keller said that new enemies, maps, and tools that were developed will make their way over to future PvE events. Neuss elaborated that the hero talents could be used for "cool non-canonical stuff" such as the recent limited-time event that slightly augmented a few abilities.

We'll have our first taste of the new piecemeal story missions when Season 6 launches around August. The first Overwatch already had co-op missions that would release once every few months, though, leaving me to wonder what the sequel's main additions were. The switch to 5v5? The shop? Oh, and lest we forget the jolly battle passes, too.

The rest of the roadmap teases a new support hero in Season 6, a Roadhog rework after that, and much more.

Read this next