Cheers love, the seasonal battle pass is here. Following a surprise appearance at the Microsoft x Bethesda showcase, the Overwatch 2 team has announced more updates for the upcoming title, which includes the removal of lootboxes, a roadmap, and a 2023 launch for PvE.
The plans were shared during an extended Overwatch 2 livestream that reinforced the sequel’s status as a free-to-play title. It will follow in the footsteps of many other modern games to introduce a seasonal battle pass, while also ditching its existing lootbox system.
While details remain sparse, the team did confirm that players will be able to unlock cosmetic items, such as weapon charms, banners, and skins, through both the battle pass and in-game store — a recurring mechanic in free-to-play models like Fortnite and Apex Legends.
“Along with the free-to-play change we’re doing away with loot boxes entirely,” lead hero designer Geoff Goodman said during the stream. “We have a new battle pass model coming in, and we have a store as well, so players have a lot more control over how they interact with the game and acquire new content.”
According to game director Aaron Keller, the change is part of Blizzard’s plan to deliver new content to players on a more “frequent and consistent” basis than the original game, which has been in a content drought for a while now. A look at the roadmap shows that each season will last nine weeks and alternate between adding a new hero and a new map.
The first season is a little different, however, promising three new heroes, six new maps, the new Push game mode, weekly challenges, 30-plus new skins, and a new mythic skin. The much-touted PvE mode, arguably the star of Overwatch 2, will unfortunately not be available till next year.
The sequel is launching on 4 October 2022 (interested players can opt-in for beta now), with release day introducing Sojourn, Junker Queen, and a new support hero, and new maps like Midtown, Portugal, and other “iconic locations” from around the globe. Content from the original game, meanwhile, will return in the form of revamped heroes, PvP maps, and “fan-favourite” maps as well.