Overwatch 2 director reveals why “audacious” PvE Hero Missions were canceled
Overwatch 2 Game Director Aaron Keller has broken his silence on the canceled Hero Missions and explained why the team won’t be proceeding with that portion of the PvE.
The Overwatch 2 community was left shocked this week with the announcement that the game’s long-awaited PvE content will no longer include Hero Missions and will instead focus on a story campaign.
The decision was not well-received by the Overwatch player base, who were expecting a lot more content to be released when the PvE launches in Season 6, and wondered why it took Blizzard so long to reveal that plans had changed.
In a blog post, Keller explained why the team made this decision and clarified what players can expect when the story missions begin later this year.
Overwatch 2 devs reveal why PvE Hero Missions were scrapped
According to Keller, the upcoming story campaign will be leaps and bounds above previously released PvE content like the Archives event missions.
“These missions take place on huge maps with new enemies and new cinematics. We will begin to release them in Season 6. The work done here is amazing, leaps and bounds above what we’ve built for PvE previously in our game, and I can’t wait for our players to get their hands on them,” he said.
He further expressed that he felt like Overwatch’s original game, Project Titan, is still the inspiration for the PvP and what will become the PvE side in a few months.
“Work began on the PvE portion of the game and we steadily continued shifting more and more of the team to work on those features. Things rarely go as planned in game development. We struggled to find our footing with the Hero Mission experience early on. Scope grew. We were trying to do too many things at once and we lost focus,” he added.
The Hero Missions were planned to include multiple new hero abilities and talents, but its scope seems to have been too large for the team to deliver the “deeply replayable” experience that was promised.
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As such, with the team unable to create a “polished, cohesive experience,” the decision was made to cut that content.
“We had announced something audacious. Our players had high expectations for it, but we no longer felt like we could deliver it,” he said.
Keller added that the announcement came when it did only after trying to find a way to make everything fit together – something they couldn’t do.
“We also knew that we couldn’t go back to pulling people away from the live game in service of that original vision again. So, we made the difficult decision to cut Hero Missions and started planning for the future. From there, we needed to update the vision for the game, gain confidence in our new direction and roll out the changes to the team. The decision was the start of a long process, not the final piece of it,” he said.
It’s not clear how the OW2 community will respond to this explanation, but hopefully, the upcoming story campaign can be enough to unite the player base despite the decision to cut a big portion of the PvE.