Overwatch 2 director apologizes for canceling PvE Hero mode, makes big promises for story missions – IGN

In what he described as an “emotional week,” director Aaron Keller opened up about the decision to cancel Overwatch 2’s planned PvE Hero mode, saying the team “struggled to find its footing” amid what he called the high expectations of the mode.

“Things rarely go to plan in game development. We struggled to find our footing with the Hero Mission experience early on. The scope has grown,” Keller wrote in a new blog post. “We were trying to do too many things at once and lost focus. The team built some really cool stuff, including hero talents, new enemy units, and early versions of missions, but we were never able to combine all the elements required to ship a cohesive, polished experience.”

According to Keller, the PvE Hero mode was an “exciting yet titanic vision” that continued to draw resources away from the live game. Finally, Keeler says, the development team realized it had to step away.

“This has been difficult for us, but as a director on this project, I have to do my best to make decisions that put the game and the community first, even when those decisions are disappointing. In this case, I had a hard time pivoting away from a vision that wasn’t meaningful. And for that I would like to apologize to our players and our team. I’m sorry,” Keeler wrote.

The shocking decision to revoke hero status

The decision to cancel Overwatch 2’s Hero mode shocked its community when it was announced earlier this week, leaving some to wonder why Blizzard would choose to make a sequel in the first place. Overwatch 2 has gone through several iterations since its original announcement, finally settling on a revised version of the first game that features expanded narrative and co-op missions.

Reflecting on Overwatch 2’s journey to this point, Keeler described the hero mode as an attempt to realize Blizzard’s original vision for Project Titan – the “MMO FPS” that eventually became Overwatch for 2016. Blizzard’s plan was to introduce a PvE mode that featured new hero abilities, co-op attacks, and a level progression system, with the goal of being released as seasonal content in 2023.

“It was built into the team’s DNA early on, and some of us considered that final game a true fulfillment of the original vision for Project Titan,” Keller wrote.

I had trouble walking away from a vision that wasn’t working

Instead, Overwatch 2 will focus on more straightforward story missions, which will include “fast-paced, cooperative gameplay, as well as story, cinematics, and cinematics.” Keller claims that the mode will “take place on massive maps with new enemies and new cinematics,” with a specific plotline released for Season 6.

“The work done here is amazing, leaps and bounds above what we’ve built for PvE previously in our game, and I can’t wait for our players to get their hands on them. We’ll be sharing more details there in the coming weeks,” Keeler wrote.

Overwatch 2 is trying to move forward

In addition to the planned story missions, Blizzard shared a comprehensive roadmap that spans through Season 7 and beyond, including several new heroes, events, and more.

For now, the Overwatch 2 development team — and its community — is trying to move forward, Keller wrote. “Overwatch was born from the ashes of Project Titan. It was a transformative moment for the team and the project… and something beautiful came out of it. This is another transformative moment. And the future of Overwatch will be born out of it.”

For more information, check out our review of Overwatch 2, which we commended for bringing “new life to what was once the most powerful multiplayer shooter.”

Kat Bailey is a senior news editor at IGN as well as co-host of Nintendo Voice Chat. Do you have advice? Send her a direct message at the_katbot.

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