Overwatch 2’s new PvE game mode will launch in 2023 and is designed to tell a complete, linear story in the multiplayer shooter’s regular seasonal updates.
Speaking about Overwatch 2 at a press conference, developer Blizzard said that the story-focused co-op play mode will receive a staggered release to coincide with the sequel’s new nine-week seasonal model. Rather than telling discrete stories, however, each update will be combined into an overarching campaign that will come to a definite conclusion.
“It tells a complete, linear story with a beginning and an end,” game director Aaron Keller said of the PvE mode. “Instead of saving up all the content we create to put in a big box that you sell for $60 or more, we’ve changed our model now to start releasing stuff seasonally.
“We want to be able to release it when they are ready, instead of holding it. It is very important for us to continue to release content for the game.”
It will be a while before you can get your hands on the PvE game mode, however. It’s scheduled for release in 2023, months after the release of Overwatch 2’s new PvP mode as part of the game’s early access launch on October 4th.
While a specific date has not been announced, the new game mode could launch as early as February. Overwatch 2 will have a new nine-week seasonal update model, with this year’s final season set to release on December 6th. as early as February 7th – the estimated 2023 first season release date.
PvE will not just represent a new game mode for Overwatch, but a new channel through which its story and characters can be explored. Blizzard says co-op will progress the story of Overwatch, answering old questions that fans have been eager to solve since the first game, as well as raising new plot points. In particular, it will focus on telling the story of how the Overwatch in-game group reformed.
a change of pace
Blizzard’s approach to Overwatch 2’s co-op campaign is surprising. The release of additional story content that interacts with the ever-expanding lore is the same as live service games, but Overwatch 2 feels more contained. It looks like the sequel’s story isn’t just going to spiral out to justify releasing new content, but it was meticulously planned to come to a final conclusion.
Of course, it will likely be many years before it gets to that ending, with plenty of sequels along the way. But the idea that your co-op story will end properly is a change of pace.
Blizzard first announced that PvE would not be available at the launch of Overwatch 2 on October 4 during the Xbox and Bethesda Showcase. The developer is billing this early release as an early access period which will mainly focus on its 5v5 PvP mode.
However, there are many other new features to look forward to. Not only does Overwatch 2’s battle pass system represent a big change for the series as it commits to a live service model, but Blizzard is also making big changes to its monetization system. Overwatch 2 will not have loot boxes, in favor of an in-game cosmetic shop.
Check out the Overwatch 2 release roadmap to learn more about what we can expect.