Overwatch 2 developers explain the new battle pass

From The Verge: Less than a month before its October 4th launch, Blizzard is revealing even more details about the game, clarifying some rumors, and showing off the latest hero, Kiriko.

Since it was teased at Blizzcon in 2018, Overwatch 2 has been this great monolith of a game, a target Blizzard and its fans have been slowly journeying toward. In the recent months, and as a part of Blizzard’s commitment to better communicate its progress on Overwatch 2, we’ve learned quite a bit about the game. We’ve seen new heroes, new maps, a new progression system, and a fundamental shift in how the game will be played. But there are other, equally fundamental parts of Overwatch 2 that have only been revealed via leaks and substantiated by somewhat vague tweets.

Last week, due to a snafu with the description of the Overwatch 2 Watchpoint Pack, fans inadvertently learned that heroes in Overwatch 2 would be gated behind battle pass progression. Later, Overwatch commercial lead Jon Spector, confirmed that yes, heroes will no longer be automatically granted to players as they had been in Overwatch prime, but would be attainable via both the premium and free versions of the battle pass. Spector didn’t offer further clarification to the flurry of questions that followed, but in an interview with The Verge, those questions and more were answered.

The primary question on a lot of players’ minds was why? Why change how heroes are attained? The answer is pretty simple: this shit ain’t free.

“When we looked at making this transition to free to play, one of the great goals we had was to be able to give [original] Overwatch players what they wanted, which was just continuous delivery of content,” said Overwatch general manager Walter Kong. “Our core development team has roughly tripled in size since the launch of Overwatch and we have many more folks working on the game on partner teams, and we want to be able to continually invest in this live game service. So from the perspective of the business, this isn’t free.”

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