Overwatch 2 might be launching before the end of 2022, but the PVE content Blizzard promised is still delayed until 2023. The “AAA campaign” held up development on the sequel, Blizzard admitted, but Team 4 have promised it will be worth the wait.
At long last, Overwatch 2 is coming out in October 2022. After years of testing and teasing, Blizzard is coming to players with plenty of new maps, heroes, and other content to bring everyone back to the hero shooter.
However, there is one notable absence from the launch: the PVE content which was meant to make up a significant portion of the sequel.
A separate experience from the PVP side of the game, Blizzard showcased the potential of a four-player co-op campaign throughout the various battlefields of Overwatch way back when the expansion was announced.
That grandiose project ended up hamstringing Team 4 as they tried to keep players invested during the three-year lull.
“When we initially announced Overwatch 2, we presented a vision of a PVP game that had a big PVE component to it at the same time,” director Aaron Keller told Gamespot. “And as we developed that game, what it meant was that the PvP side of the game was coupled, or was joined with the PVE side of the game.
“So the release of any PVP content was now being gated by the amount of time it took for us to build the PVE side of the game. And as that took longer, it meant that there was less focus going into the live side of the game.
“I feel like this went against one of the core values that the Overwatch team has always had, which is to be able to deliver content regularly for our players. I think we realized that we had to change something.”
Now it is being pushed back until 2023, months after the game’s launch. This is due to a shift in priorities for the sequel, trying to give players content as quickly as possible to keep things fresh.
It’s a focus on the live service model more dedicated than Blizzard showed with the base game, especially as Overwatch 2 moves to free-to-play.
With that being said though, the developer’s aren’t skimping out on their “AAA campaign” diving deeper into the lore and stories of Overwatch.
“PVE for Overwatch 2 is still what we’ve always envisioned for the game. There’s a campaign — a AAA campaign — with a linear story that we’re going to tell through it, and there’s also a highly replayable mode with hero progression,” Keller explained.
“But rather than keeping those until they’re all finished at the same time and releasing them in a box, we would like to release those as part of our seasonal cadence for Overwatch 2.”
As for what players can expect from PVE when it finally arrives, it’ll be a “complete experience”. Heroes will be changed up with talents, adding another layer of progression beyond baseline mastery. There’ll be plenty of new maps and stories too, diving deeper into the game’s beloved universe.
However, Blizzard have remained tight-lipped on how the content will be offered to players outside of seasonal releases, including how much it’ll cost.