Overwatch 2’s Executive Producer, Jared Neuss, has assured fans that the team is actively addressing the issue of providing new heroes to all players on the day a season launches. Since the sequel’s inception, the method of unlocking new heroes has been a point of contention among the Overwatch 2 community. Unlike the original Overwatch, which granted players access to all new heroes for free, the sequel took a different route. New heroes are technically available at no cost, but players must progress through the season’s battle pass to unlock them. Conversely, players who purchase a premium battle pass can immediately access these new heroes.
Since Overwatch 2’s release over a year ago, the game has introduced several new characters to the roster, with more on the horizon like the damage dealer, Venture, and the enigmatic support hero known as Space Ranger. While these additions are exciting, the content being gated behind paywalls or requiring substantial grinding through season passes has contributed to Overwatch 2 receiving negative reviews, making it Steam’s lowest-rated game.
However, recent statements from the development team suggest a potential change in this approach. Jared Neuss, in a recent Ground Up! Podcast interview, expressed the team’s active efforts to ensure that new heroes become available to all players upon a season’s launch. Neuss highlighted the aim to eliminate strategic advantages based on hero availability between players or teams. This approach aims to prevent any form of disadvantage for players who haven’t spent money on the latest hero or unlocked them through grinding, particularly in light of recent buffs applied to the new tank hero, Mauga.
Neuss mentioned, “Would I like for every single player to be able to experience a hero the day that a season drops? Yes. Do I think that we will get there? Yes, I do think that we will get there, and we’re actively working towards it right now. Can I talk about the details? No, I can’t.”
Presently, unlocking new heroes requires reaching level 45 in the battle pass or purchasing them for 1000 Overwatch Coins ($10). Achieving level 45 through the current leveling system entails a significant number of matches, potentially taking weeks for some players to unlock a new hero, even with daily gameplay.
Beyond the microtransactions and hero paywalls, Overwatch 2 faced challenges with canceled PvE features that fans eagerly anticipated. The inclusion of story and hero missions was a considerable draw to Overwatch 2, which justified the transition for many fans.
Despite its initial hurdles, Overwatch 2 holds potential to rectify concerns by making heroes available to all players from the beginning of a new season. Alongside potential crossovers, this offers reasons for optimism about the future of this beloved hero shooter.