Blizzard is still attempting to spin their recent announcement that Overwatch 2’s PvE Hero Mode is no longer available as a positive development.
As you may be aware already, there will indeed be some PvE content released, primarily in the form of co-op story missions, but even so, they stated that some of the content would be canon, while some would not.
The dedicated Hero Mode, which was a significant factor in the decision to make a sequel in the first place and would’ve had progression, skill trees, and substantial canon story bits to play, is no longer available.
Aaron Keller, the game director, released a Director’s Take post in an ongoing effort to shift the narrative and make it sound more positive following Blizzard’s apparent rug pull from under longtime fans.
The post reads: “Hey all. It has been an emotional week for the world of Overwatch. A few days ago, we talked about the change in approach to PvE in Overwatch 2 and released a high level road map for the year. We are really excited for everything we will be launching soon, but much of the discussions this week have been about how we are canceling PvE outright, which is not accurate, so I want to take time to discuss some of that with you here.”
Story Missions, which emphasize cooperative gameplay, are still expected to become available, the post goes on to mention.
Starting with Season 6, there will be a linear narrative that delves into the Overwatch lore.
“These missions take place on massive maps with new enemies and cinematics. We’ll begin to release them in Season 6. The work done is amazing, leaps and bounds above what we have built for PvE previously in the game, and I cannot wait for players to get their hands on them. We will be sharing more details there in the coming weeks.”
Keller provides background information on the development of Overwatch, which was born out of yet another failed MMO project.
Strangely, he talks about the team’s “crawl, walk, run” mentality, where Overwatch was crawling, while PvE was walking, and finally, the MMO was running.
Now, many players consider the studio to still be crawling at the moment, unable to stand up straight and create the PvE content they had promised when the sequel was first announced.
“Things rarely go as planned in [the world of] game development. We struggled to find our footing with the Hero Mission experience very early on. We were just trying to do too many things at once and we just lost focus. The team built some great things, including hero talents, some new enemy units and early versions of missions, but we were never really able to bring together all the elements needed to ship a polished and cohesive experience.”
Of course, this all seems to be just the tip of the iceberg given the fact that California’s Civil Rights Department has filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard, alleging violations of the state’s Equal Pay Act and Fair Employment and Housing Act.
It is alleged that CEO Bobby Kotick was aware of the alleged wrongdoings within his organization.
Activision Blizzard has refuted each of these allegations, and the business cites earlier instances of doing so by providing additional diversity and inclusion training as evidence.