Blizzard shared several updates on Overwatch 2 at Tokyo Game Show ahead of the game’s multiplayer beta launch. In addition to unveiling the game’s latest hero, Kiriko, the company gave details on the game’s new seasonal model. As part of the change, new heroes will now be tied to battle pass progression rather than offered unlocked for free.
The first Overwatch game took an organic approach to new content drops, releasing updates on no set time frame. Overwatch 2‘s new model will deliver content to players every nine weeks. Each update will add new content to the game regularly, including maps, modes, and cosmetics. A new hero will be added every other season following season 2. Seasons will bring a purchasable battle pass with over 80 tiers, 20 of which will be free to players who don’t buy the full pass.
The battle pass brings the game’s biggest change. New characters will be placed on the battle pass, so players will need to earn them if they want to get them for free. A screenshot on a Blizzard blog post shows that Kiriko, a new ninja support hero, is unlockable at level 55. Meanwhile, anyone who buys the premium battle pass will unlock a season’s new character right away. Anyone who already owns Overwatch will unlock Kiriko right away for free when Overwatch 2 launches, though they’ll need to redeem the hero before season 2 begins.
Not all of Overwatch 2‘s newest heroes will need to be unlocked that way. Anyone who logs into the game during season 1 will unlock Junker Queen and Sojourn automatically. However, it appears that every hero after that will be tied to the battle pass. New heroes will join in seasons 1 and 2, with more planned for seasons 4 and 6.
Its a decision that’s sure to raise some concerns for fans. Seeing as Overwatch is a team-based series where certain heroes are essential to the game’s meta, the decision could be seen as one that gives players who pay for the Premium Battle Pass an unfair advantage over those who don’t. While anyone can unlock new heroes for free, grinding up to tier 55 will likely take a fair amount of time. Previously, Overwatch offered every new character for free to all players, so its a significant shift in business model for Blizzard.
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