Overwatch 2 won’t make you pay for new heroes—but you will have to earn them

Blizzard has confirmed that new Overwatch 2 heroes will be delivered through the game’s battle pass system—but not on the premium track.

Blizzard vice president and Overwatch commercial lead Jon Spector confirmed the news on Twitter, saying he was clearing up confusion caused by “some incomplete info” making the rounds.

Though Spector promised more details in the weeks to come, his statement doesn’t leave much room for misinterpretation. He said outright that “new Overwatch 2 heroes will be available on the free track of the Battle Pass.”

That means the free-to-play game won’t actually require you to spend any money on the game to have access to the full roster. But it also means that you’ll have to put in some level of effort to get the new characters, and that’s already prompted some backlash in the community.

At the time of writing, one of the top posts on the series’s subreddit decries the move, claiming that it’ll impact the ability of teams to strategize over composition and counterpick effectively.

The outrage may be premature—we just don’t know enough yet. If new characters are in the early stages of the battle pass’s free track, you might be able to get them relatively painlessly. If they’re one of the final unlocks, however, it make take weeks of playing to get there. Assuming you can pay to directly unlock heroes, as you can in may other free-to-play games, locking heroes behind battle passes might be an annoying funnel toward monetization.

It’s also unclear whether Overwatch 2‘s battle passes will expire once the season ends. If so, it’s entirely possible that those who take a break from playing or arrive to the game late will have no choice but to pay to unlock older characters. That would be an even bigger blow to balance.

Here’s hoping Blizzard can provide answers—and here’s hoping they’ll be reassuring ones—in the run-up to launch.

Overwatch 2 arrives in early access on October 4th, for PS5, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, and Windows PC.

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