Overwatch 2 PvE story mission development reportedly held back by Blizzard execs

Declan Mclaughlin
doomfist and sigma in ow2

Overwatch 2’s PvE and story mission development was reportedly held back by Blizzard executives as the mode has seemingly been abandoned and hasn’t caught on with the player base.

Overwatch 2’s initial pitch from Activision was to add a PvE mode with story missions to build out the game to be more than just its first iteration which was mostly just a multiple-player FPS.

However, Activision has since canceled Hero Mode and has only released three story missions for the title. Fans have not responded well to the initial story missions either and the mode seems to be all but abandoned at this point.

Former developers who worked on the mode said in a Kotaku report they are afraid the missions have been canceled and that upper management and executives held it back during development.

Overwatch 2 story missions hampered by execs

According to one of the developers interviewed, the plan was to release multiple story missions of several years with a cadence of about three missions every 18 months.

One source in the report said that Blizzard executives and leadership kept asking developers working on the story mission if they were “Blizzard Quality,” to further delay their creation and completion.

players attacking AI enemies in Overwatch 2 PvE
players attacking AI enemies in Overwatch 2 PvE.

“[Blizzard Quality] is a justification to essentially piss about forever and ever redoing the same work over and over,” the source said. “Some executive goes, ‘Hm, but is it Blizzard quality?’ It’s always leadership or game directors, deciding they need to spend the extra time. So honestly, if they could have just made any kind of decisions, the game would have shipped years ago,” a source told Kotaku.

There were also other issues with crafting story missions in the Blizzard title.

“Overwatch’s PvP gameplay just turned out to be very difficult to adapt for PvE. Mostly because of how differentiated and PvP-oriented the hero kits are,” one person told Kotaku.

Some story missions are complete, according to the report, but the entire campaign may not be ready for release.

Activision Blizzard has since been acquired by Microsoft and gone through a round of layoffs, and some working on Overwatch 2 were let go during the culling.

One person quoted in the report said that “from a business perspective” neither company has faith in Overwatch 2’s PvE mode or elements. Activision and Microsoft have not responded to the report at the time of writing.