As Overwatch 2 prepares to go free-to-play, it will be introducing some major changes, including the removal of the loot boxes that were once a defining part of the original.
During today’s Overwatch 2 reveal stream, Blizzard announced that the upcoming sequel will be following in the footsteps of many other modern online game and introducing a battle pass.
While Blizzard didn’t offer many details, it did confirm that players will be able to unlock cosmetic items through both the battle pass and the in-game store. In addition, Overwatch 2 will feature weekly challenges in what Blizzard is calling “Competitive Play 2.0.”
The introduction of a battle pass also means that Overwatch 2 will be doing away with an important part of its legacy: loot boxes.
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“Along with the free-to-play change we’re doing away with loot boxes entirely,” lead hero designer Geoff Goodman said during the stream. “We have a new battle pass model coming in, and we have a store as well, so players have a lot more control over how they interact with the game and acquire new content.”
The changes all tie into Overwatch 2’s shift to a free-to-play model, joining Fortnite and many other modern shooters. In so doing, Blizzard is promising what it says is a robust roadmap with a regular cadence of content.
However it turns out, Overwatch 2 figures to be a departure in substance, even if in form it resembles the original. Players will get to see for themselves just how different it will be when Overwatch 2’s beta commences June 28 ahead of its October 4 early access release.
In the meantime, check out the rest of our Overwatch 2 coverage as the Summer of Gaming continues.
Kat Bailey is a Senior News Editor at IGN as well as co-host of Nintendo Voice Chat. Have a tip? Send her a DM at @the_katbot.