Today is the launch day for Overwatch 2 and things are…a bit chaotic right now. If you’re an avid Overwatch player, you can understand what’s going on with the move to Overwatch 2, for players outside of the bubble, the new blood type Blizzard wants to attract, things can be pretty confusing.
Does one fundamental thing keep coming up between my readers and the conversations I see online? A lot of people don’t seem to know that Overwatch 2 is… free. The game is going free. That’s the underlying principle of all this change, but something that many people seem to have missed the note.
Part of this seems to be because Blizzard seems intent on hiding this fact, often keeping such news out of marketing, and when you try to find the game online, you’re constantly directed to something called Overwatch 2. surveillance package, which costs $40, the same price as the original Overwatch. So you can think that’s what the game costs.
Nope! It is not like this! The Watchpoint Pack is the new paid battle pass and a bunch of cosmetics. Overwatch 2 multiplayer, by itself, is free.
No, it’s not free if you have Overwatch 1. Only free.
And yet, trying to find the game on PlayStation will immediately lead you to this bundle. I was eventually able to download the “Origins” version of the game for free, but it was confusing to find. On Xbox, I literally couldn’t find a place to download the Origins version, and was only directed to the paid Watchpoint Pack.
There is additional confusion because once upon a time, OW2 being free-to-play didn’t seem like it was going to be the case, as Blizzard was talking about their upcoming single-player/co-op campaign style missions as paid content. But the plans changed.
What happened is that Blizzard has split Overwatch 2 into free multiplayer release, which happens now, and then that other campaign content is coming sometime in 2023, and will likely be sold separately. But fundamentally, Overwatch is moving towards a free model. A new battle pass and a new unlockable hero every season like Apex Legends.
Existing Players/Owners of Overwatch 1 should they have access to all of the original Overwatch heroes when they start Overwatch 2. But Blizzard has said it will take roughly 100 matches for new players to unlock the full roster of characters, a way to get on board without overwhelming them. I do not to think There is a way to bypass this process, and I don’t think the $40 Watchpoint Pack will do it, but the message is so confusing I’m not even 100% sure. But the bottom line is, no, you don’t need to buy the $40 thing that Blizzard will stick in your face at all times. Fundamentally, Overwatch 2 is free to play, and I think Blizzard is unwise to hide that fact at all times.
Overwatch 2 launches later today, and I’m expecting some confusion about all of this from new players, so hopefully this clarifies a few things.