Overwatch 2 won’t be locking new heroes behind a paid battle pass, it’s emerged. Blizzard VP Jon Spector confirmed that heroes will be available through a free track for the battle pass. Spector’s comments were an attempt to put an end to speculation over what he described as “incomplete info” circulating online about Overwatch 2’s battle pass.
Blizzard revealed that Overwatch 2 was going free-to-play at the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase in June. They described the game as an “always-evolving live service”, but didn’t explain at the time what players would have to fork out for. There’s been speculation since that access to new characters would be locked behind a paywall, similar to Fortnite. In response to a question about players potentially missing out on heroes if they weren’t unlocked during a given season, Spector clarified that more opportunities to obtain heroes will come up. “We will have free paths to get new heroes in future seasons too,” Spector said.
A new hero coming to Overwatch 2 has been leaked too. Support hero Kiriko sports a fetching fox-ear hat and seems to enjoy frosted doughnuts. The character was revealed when an unfinished cinematic for the game was shared on YouTube, and spotted by cheery RPS fansite PCGamer. It was subsequently taken down, but is still floating about on other sites. You can get a look at Kiriko in the images below, shared by OverwatchNaeri on Twitter:
Overwatch 2 New Hero Kiriko 🦊⛩️
— Naeri X 나에리 (@OverwatchNaeri) September 8, 2022
OverwatchNaeri has also posted details of rewards coming in Overwatch 2’s season one battle pass. These include Kiriko, a Cyber Demon Genji mythic skin, and a Legendary skin for Kiriko based on the mystical phoenix. There’ll allegedly by more than 80 new cosmetics, and a new hero for the free track.
Ed struggled to find the sequel bit in Overwatch 2 when he played the second open beta back in July, but felt it was a faster game. “Holding the frontline as Junker Queen is a joy, so I’ve got no qualms with her being a part of the roster,” he said. “But there’s a sense that the old guard can’t keep up with her and the rest of Overwatch 2’s new wave of hostile heroes. Reinhardt and Winston and Cassidy are still fun to play but they’re forever tied to the game’s original, slower paced design philosophy.”
Overwatch’s overseers Activision Blizzard are still mired in legal issues and reports alleging workplace discrimination, harassment and poor working conditions. They’re also being bought by Microsoft for $68.7 billion (£59 billion), a deal announced by surprise in January this year. That same month, Blizzard Entertainment head Mike Ybarra said he was committed to fostering change within the company.
Overwatch 2 launches on October 4th, and will be free-to-play. It’ll be available on Blizzard’s Battle.net launcher.