Overwatch 2 is moving away from the awful decision to lock new Heroes behind the battle pass

Blizzard /

Blizzard is moving away from one of Overwatch 2's worst systems — locking new heroes behind the battle pass.

In the latest developer diary, game director Aaron Keller announced that starting with Season 10, heroes will no longer be unlocked through the battle pass. They'll be avaliable for everyone at release, with no purchase or grind required.

This means Venture, the new hero arriving in Season 10, will be free and readily playable for everyone.

This is a fantastic move for the game. And it addresses a system that never really made much sense to me to begin with.

Overwatch 2 is a hero shooter. The new heroes are one of the best parts. Locking them behind the battle pass just felt like a cheap money grab, no matter how Blizzard tried to spin it.

Speaking to GameSpot, Aaron Keller tried to justify Blizzard's original decision:

"When we first launched Overwatch 2, we had a worry that running a cosmetics-only business with a game that had all of these different heroes that you could purchase individual and unique cosmetics for might not be successful. But putting any type of gameplay behind a paywall, that can have an effect on the competitive integrity of a game. And so we tried to mitigate that. We put heroes in the free battle pass; we created challenges to unlock some of the heroes."

It sounds like Blizzard wasn't sure if the move to a battle pass system versus the previous loot box system would be lucrative enough — especially if the battle pass only contained cosmetic items. So they put new heroes in the battle pass and allows players to unlock them immediately if they purchased said battle pass. Alternatively, a player would have to grind to Tier 55 in order to get them for free.

The hope was probably that players would be too impatient to grind 55 tiers and would simply buy the pass to get access to the hero right away.

Thankfully, they're moving away from this system, starting with Season 10.