Winter is coming. And for Blizzard Entertainment, it may be a Long Night.
Less than two weeks before the release of Overwatch 2, news has broken out that Geoff Goodman, the lead hero designer, has left Blizzard Entertainment.
Overwatch 2 has had a rollercoaster pregame leading up to its release. Many didn't like the reveal that Overwatch would shut down permanently after Overwatch 2 releases on October 4. Players' primary complaint is that Overwatch 2 will shift the game format from 6v6 to 5v5, making it an entirely different game than Overwatch, which begs the question of why shut down the original.
Then came the news of Blizzard's monetization and Battle Pass decisions; a bit of one step forward and one step back. Loot boxes will be a thing of the past, but new characters will be a thing of Battle Pass tier walling. If players shell out $10 for the Premium Pass, they will unlock new characters instantly, but for everyone else, you need to grind to Tier 55 of the Battle Pass. That's a lot of grinding.
🦊Introducing Kiriko 🦊
— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) September 15, 2022
Blizzard has recently revealed the latest hero for Overwatch 2, Kiriko. If you have the original Overwatch, you will receive a Founder's Pack after Overwatch 2 launches. Redeeming the Founder's Pack will allow you immediate access to Kiriko. You will also be able to use Junker Queen and Sojourn immediately.
But while that's all well and good, the system of gating new characters behind over half of the Battle Pass is sure to remain unpopular. People have lives, and sometimes people will be too busy to grind 55 Battle Pass tiers. Or, let's face it, people are neophytes and might lack the skills to reach tier 55. At least not before they give up trying. The new way of obtaining new characters is a stark contrast from the original Overwatch, where you can get new characters for free, and so far, Blizzard hasn't shown this to be anything that resembles a pro-player move.
Now with the chief hero designer gone, that begs the question of what will happen regarding the balance and design of future characters. It's not an intern we're talking about here. Geoff played a core part in Overwatch, and someone has Kingdom Hearts size shoes to fill.
Enjoy Overwatch while you can, and stay tuned to ESTNN for more updates on Overwatch 2.