Overwatch will be going free to play with the launch of Overwatch 2 and players now know what that will look like and how the battle pass system will fit into it.
Online multiplayer games have generally been moving in the direction of being free to play with a “games as service” model. This sees a game launch with no paywall to it, but with a focus on rewarding regular play and encouraging microtransactions. Games like Fortnite have enjoyed enormous success and massive franchises like Halo have pivoted to fit into this system.
Blizzard is now set to do the same with Overwatch 2. The game will have a new seasonal format with a battle pass and new content releases coming each season. Here’s what’s coming and what fans can look forward to.
Overwatch 2 will be free to play and will have a seasonal format for new content releases.
According to the Overwatch 2 reveal event, each season will have a wave of new content that can include new characters, new maps, and more. The first season will last just two months, though it’s not clear if that will be the standard moving forward.
Overwatch 2 will launch with six new maps and three new characters. Much of this has been revealed already including with the recently revealed Junker Queen. Developers suggested that another character will be revealed in the months ahead of Overwatch’s official release.
Overwatch 2 will get rid of loot boxes and replace them with a battle pass.
By all accounts, Overwatch 2’s battle passes will be similar to those seen in games such as Fortnite and Apex Legends. In those games, players are encouraged to grind in the game during the season to earn more and better rewards. They also have the alternative ability to pay cash or other in-game currencies to instantly earn the rewards.
Hero skins will seemingly be the main incentive for players, though other Overwatch staples will also return in Overwatch 2. This includes highlight intros, emotes, and more. There will also be new digital goods and rewards like the banners seen in Dota 2 and the weapon charms introduced in Apex Legends. The initial season will launch with a multitude of these, including 30 new Overwatch hero skins in the first season alone.