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Overwatch 2 PvE Hero Missions Canceled After Years in Development

Blizzard has canceled Overwatch 2 PvE Hero Missions with skill trees despite years of work, but Story Missions will arrive in Season 6.

Blizzard Entertainment has revealed plans to scale back its ambitious plans for Overwatch 2 PvE Hero Missions, and it has canceled its original vision for the mode. It’s a massively disappointing update that arrived during a developer livestream going over the team’s plans for the future. Executive Producer Jared Neuss explained that the Hero Mission PvE content promised for Overwatch 2 was essentially too ambitious, with Neuss saying that “there really was no end in sight” when it came to its development.

“With everything we’ve learned about what it takes to operate this game at the level you deserve, it’s clear that we can’t deliver on that original vision for PvE that was shown in 2019,” Neuss said. “So, what that means is that we won’t be delivering that dedicated Hero mode with talent trees, that long-term progression… Those things just aren’t in our plans anymore.”

Neuss acknowledged that the canceled PvE plans will sting for fans who have been looking forward to it for years: “To be perfectly honest, it’s been really difficult for many of us. A lot of folks on the team have poured their heart and soul into that stuff.”

Blizzard announced in 2019 that Overwatch 2 would receive a substantial PvE component. Aside from giving players less competitive content than the usual PvP modes, PvE was said to add the highly requested story content fans had asked for since the original game launched in 2016. Fans had the prospect of “hundreds” of Hero Missions dangled in front of them, which were to be a totally new take on the Overwatch experience that would further flesh out characters with the option to level up with upgrades for existing abilities. Now, after years of waiting, Hero Missions are being left behind.

Game director Aaron Keller explained that the change in Overwatch 2 PvE will allow it to provide ongoing co-op updates that enable it to expand the story in new ways, and Overwatch 2 Story Missions are still on the way.

“Going forward though, rather than doing a big one-time PvE release and rather than pouring all of our efforts into these singular PvE releases, we’re planning to make co-op experiences and co-op gameplay just part of our live roadmap,” Keller said. “We want you to be able to experience it more often, and with more variety than we had originally announced.”

Blizzard’s decision to drop Hero Missions from Overwatch 2 is a shocking blow to fans who have waited for the content to arrive. However, the developer revealed a content roadmap that shows players much of the content they can expect to arrive throughout the year. Some highlights include something called “Questwatch” and the return of the On Fire mechanic in Overwatch 2 Season 5. Season 6 will then bring those Story Missions, a new support hero, and a change to player progression, with Season 7 adding a new tank hero, a new map, winter-themed content, and reworks for Sombra and Roadhog. You can try to forget about the canceled Hero Missions by checking out the full Overwatch 2 roadmap below.

About the author

Michael Cripe
Michael joined The Escapist team in 2019 but has been covering games, movies, TV, and music since 2015. When he’s not writing, Michael is probably playing Super Mario Sunshine, Dead Space, The Binding of Isaac, or Doom Eternal. You can follow his news coverage and reviews at The Escapist, but his work has appeared on other sites like OnlySP, Gameranx, and Kansas City’s The Pitch, too. If you’d like to connect and talk about the latest pop-culture news, you can follow Michael on Twitter (@MikeCripe), Instagram (mike_cripe), or LinkedIn if that’s your thing.