Why does Overwatch 2's battle pass be considered by Blizzard as a failure?

Why does Overwatch 2's battle pass be considered by Blizzard as a failure? ...

Blizzard Entertainment was planning to limit Overwatch 2 heroes' access, according to Overwatch fans, as part of the game's battle pass system. This seems to contravene the original gameplay. Players were able to alter a teams' lineup and counter-pick heroes on the fly.

Overwatch 2 will not be affected by the game's willingness to charge for new heroes or require players to earn them later, according to Blizzard, and the studio believes there are important differences between the original 6-year-old Overwatch and its forthcoming free-to-play sequel.

Overwatch game director Aaron Keller said the game is a highly competitive game. We know that our players are important, and we have heard that players are concerned about the difference in access to heroes per team. We think that there are a lot of changes to the game and a lot of details in this system, but we believe that the game will remain highly competitive after we release it.

Keller noted that Overwatch 2, a five-hero team composition, and additional passive abilities for some roles will have a significant impact on how players choose characters and switch them out midmatch.

Keller said that one of the biggest differences in 5v5 combat is that many of the heroes have been tuned, and we have made adjustments to reduce the amount of hard counters that Overwatch has. We want the game to be more organic. We want people to have more impact, but we also want them to have more freedom in what hero they choose for any given situation.

Keller said that in some of the older matches, if a Tracer player was harassing your back line and chasing your supports, they might just go to Cassidy. They were basically deciding to discard them and go on their own. So for that particular interaction, weve buffed our support heroes so that they may now be able to resolve the situation with Tracer with a higher success rate.

Keller claims that some of the guidelines that governed Overwatch's original version, which initially had 21 players, are no longer valid after six years of changes, roster additions, and balance adjustments.

Keller said that when we first developed Overwatch, we considered making it a free-to-play game with a limited hero roster and limited hero pools available to players. In that situation, players would have had a very small selection of heroes to play at any time, unless they invested money in the game.

Were in a completely different situation right now. When [Overwatch 2] launches, there will be 35 heroes to choose from. If you are a new player to the game, and season 1, without putting any money into the system, you will have 34 of those heroes available for you to choose from. Over the course of season 1, you can unlock that 35th hero.

According to Keller, Blizzard has player data that supports its decision data.

The majority of our players play a relatively small amount of heroes, according to him. We believe it's because they're playing a hero that they're familiar with, a hero that they're effective with, and a hero that they're having fun with. And as the players acquire higher skill levels, the more time they'll be putting into the game.

Jon Spector, Overwatch's commercial director, said the company has invested a lot of time and effort in figuring out how to make this system more enjoyable for players and how to ensure that the game's competitive integrity is maintained.

When we first began working on this, Aaron made an interesting observation. That's how Overwatch works: a majority of players spend most of their time on two or less heroes. And you can see that in a majority of our players with 12 or less heroes.

When we ask, Is it really going to impact the play experience if someone has 34 out of 35 heroes? when we look at the data, we are very confident that it will not.

Keller said that as Blizzard has designed and rebalanced Overwatch 2's 5v5 team composition, the company has endeavored to make the game a little bit more organic and fluid, and to reduce the use of hard counters.

Keller acknowledged that there will still be some of those in the game, and there will probably be instances in the future when we develop a hero that may have a different mechanic on it. It may take us a while to get our head around the appropriate way to handle that hero. We just don't want it to be the only correct answer.

We think that with all of the other systems that we have in place, and with the additional ways of unlocking heroes, and the way that Overwatch has changed over time, and the way that Overwatch 2 was changing, we will still have a highly competitive game, even though some of the systems and some of the decisions that weve made to get there are different than what we started with.

Overwatch 2 is free-to-play, and Blizzard must generate income somewhere. Why not focus on the content that players want the most, which is by far the most expensive and time-consuming content to produce?

One of the greatest goals we had when it came to moving to free-to-play was to be able to provide [original] Overwatch players with what they wanted, which was basically constant content delivery, according to Walter Kong, Overwatch's general manager. We know [that] because players have been stating that that's what keeps them engaged over the long run.

Since Overwatch's announcement, our core development team has roughly tripled in size, and we have many more people working on the game on partner teams, and we want to be able to sustain this live-game service, according to Kong. So from the business standpoint, this isnt free. We spent a long time thinking about how to be able to continue to invest in the game in a way that would still provide fair and enjoyable experiences for all players, whether they choose to pay or to play for free.

Kong, Why did you include heroes in the battle pass? The heroes are the single most engaging content that we have in the game. And as we developed this model, it seemed to be a very good fit, to include those heroes into our new engagement systems. There is this goal to be able to continue to offer great content and experiences for years and years to come.

Overwatch 2, which includes its inaugural season, will be released on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X on October 4. A second season is expected to begin in December.