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Overwatch 2 won’t get a campaign mode after all, Blizzard has announced during a livestream on May 16, 2023, calling it a “difficult decision”. Despite touting the inclusion of a PvE campaign as one of the reasons for the creation of Overwatch 2, the developers have now scrapped the mode, because it was taking away too many resources from the development of seasonal live-service content.

Blizzard has changed gears and wants to provide shorter single-player and co-op PvE content in the form of event missions based around story arcs or specific characters, serving a canon and non-canon approach.

Originally, Overwatch 2 was supposed to have a fully single-player campaign containing talent trees for the playable heroes, allowing players to customize their playstyle as they progress. Development of this part of the game seemed to go a lot slower than for the multiplayer portion, which led to Overwatch 2 being released without it in 2022. Since there still didn’t seem to be an end date in sight for the completion of the campaign, Blizzard decided to cancel the entire thing.

While bits and pieces of the project will likely serve as the basis for the PvE content coming to the game through the seasonal updates, the original vision with talent trees and progression is gone.

Though Overwatch 2 is a free-to-play title, it completely replaced the original Overwatch, which players had to purchase, with the explicit promise of providing a single-player campaign in the “new” game. What makes matters worse is that players find Overwatch 2’s monetization a lot worse than the original title’s, in which heroes were always free and skins were easily obtainable through earnable in-game currency or free loot boxes.

To many gamers, the cancellation of the campaign mode confirms what more cynical members of the community had called out months ago: that Overwatch 2 was seemingly a way of getting out of the original “we’ll never sell heroes in Overwatch”-promise to squeeze more money out of players.

Before the sequel’s release, Overwatch players endured years of content drought with minimal support due to resources being needed for Overwatch 2’s campaign, which necessitated the porting of the game to a new engine – the result: a new game mode in PvP and more predatory monetization on top of it.