Overwatch 2's long-awaited PvE mode is dead, and after holding out hope for years while playing a sequel that's sometimes felt at odds with the "2" on its box, a lot of players are feeling down.
Blizzard will still add some sort of PvE component to Overwatch 2, but the depth and replayability that helped many fans come to terms with leaving Overwatch 1 behind – skill trees, a hero mode, and more – has been gutted. Executive producer Jared Neuss said in a dev stream that "those things just aren't in our plans anymore" because "it's clear that we can't deliver on that original vision for PvE."
As you'd expect – and as Blizzard tacitly acknowledged when it broke the bad news – the Overwatch 2 community is caught between let down and meltdown as years of anticipation boil over.
One sentiment I've already seen multiple times is the idea that "Overwatch 1 died for this," which gets to a core issue with this cancellation. Bespoke PvE was not pitched as a minor feature of Overwatch 2; it was a foundational element of the game which delayed the release of other content. It was repeatedly put off until later, and now that later has arrived, the bulk of the content that was revealed has been scrapped. PvE is still coming, but in a clearly trimmed-down form, and players are mourning all the lost time (not entirely unlike the developers undoubtedly mourning all the work that's now been shelved).
in loving memory of Overwatch 2's PVE pic.twitter.com/qWlZ5wPvhnMay 16, 2023
This news has also only reignited and intensified debates over why Overwatch 2 had to be a standalone sequel rather than a big update.
"So you're telling me we went through years of no content just for 5v5 and Push?!" asks Redditor soverain in one of the subreddit mega thread's most-upvoted comments.
"Wasn't this the entire pitch for OW2? Like, I don't even know what to say. I'm just sad," adds Semajj.
"Massively disappointing," echoes No_Catch_1490. "OW1 died for this?"
"They basically just told me they are scrapping the only thing I was really looking forward to in this game," says one forum user.
"Skills is what most of the players were waiting for. Yeah, this is bad," writes another.
Everyone – including some developers at Blizzard – seems to agree that the whole situation just plain sucks, even if it is billed as a sacrifice necessary for the health of the game. Responses on YouTube, Twitter, Reddit, and the Blizzard forums frame a spectrum of disappointment. The only silver lining is that the PvP side of the game may benefit from the resources freed up by this cancellation, and again, PvE missions are still coming, but nothing's gonna take the edge off this news.
Despite all of this, Overwatch 2 is still one of the best free games to play today.