Overwatch 2’s long-awaited PvE Hero mode has been scrapped. During a developer livestream detailing the roadmap for the game, executive producer Jared Neuss confirmed that the work on the PvE Hero mode — involving talent trees and long-term power progression — is no longer in their plans. Understandably, it’s disappointing for the fans since that PvE mode, announced in 2019, was the main draw for the switch to Overwatch 2 — in addition to the adjacent multiplayer casual and competitive modes. The former was meant to push Overwatch’s lore forward by having players team up with others and partake in various missions — akin to the Uprising and Retribution events in the first game.
The advertised PvE Hero mode was supposed to be an always-available mode that would let players gather XP through repeated playthroughs, granting a player’s choice of hero special buffs, by way of an RPG. Some of those abilities were never even present in Overwatch at the time because overpowered abilities had no effect on online matchmaking — it was restricted to PvE only. Following that, Overwatch 2 suffered multiple delays, with Blizzard confirming last year that the Hero mode will be available at a later date, and going forward with shipping the game with a robust online play system.
“Development on the PvE experience has not really hasn’t made the progress that we have hoped,” Neuss said in the live stream. “There’s brand new enemies that are super fun to fight and some truly great and ridiculous hero talents. But unfortunately, the effort required to pull all of that together into a Blizzard-quality experience that we can ship to you is huge, and there really is no end in sight or defined kind of end date where we can put that out into the world.” Instead of wasting their time refining it, the team has now chosen to abandon it, albeit not fully. Game director Aaron Keller added that rather than pouring their effort into such ‘singular releases,’ the studio is planning to include co-op experiences as parts of their live roadmap.
#Overwatch2: A Look Ahead ✨
Join us as we share more details about everything we have planned for 2023, including new events, PvE, new Heroes, new maps, & more.
— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) May 16, 2023
The roadmap reveals plans for Overwatch 2’s seasons 5, 6, 7, and beyond. Season 5 is slated to kick off June 13 and features a ‘Mischief and Magic’ theme. We’ve been promised a new limited-time event called Questwatch, the returning annual Summer Games event, a cinematic reveal, a 5v5 mini competitive season, and a creator workshop mode. Season 6, however, is being touted as the biggest content drop from Blizzard, starting with the inclusion of Story Missions — some of the PvE material that was announced in 2019. The update also promises a new support hero, a Flashpoint mode, Hero Mastery, a Firing Range, and the Overwatch Anniversary event.
Finally, we learned that Season 7 and beyond would bring a new tank hero and a collaboration event, which would mark the second year for Blizzard’s team-based shooter, following the One-Punch Man event in March. Expect reworks for heroes Roadhog and Sombra, some cinematic debuts, a lore codex, a new Control-based map, and more.