Now that Overwatch 2 has finally arrived, things are a little bit hectic. Even though longtime players of Overwatch may have a firm grasp on what’s going on with the transition to Overwatch 2, Blizzard’s target audience of newcomers may find the whole affair very bewildering.
Among my audience and the discussions I’m observing online, what’s the one underlying theme that keeps cropping up? Many players may not be aware that Overwatch 2 is, well, free. The price of entry has been reduced to nothing. It’s like the whole switch hinges on that, but a lot of people don’t seem to have gotten the word.
Because Blizzard seems determined to hide this information, they seldom mention it in their marketing materials, and all web searches for the game lead to a product called the Overwatch 2 Watchpoint Pack, which costs $40, the same as the original Overwatch. So, you may assume that’s the price of the game.
No! Actually, it doesn’t! The new premium battle pass and a variety of skins are all part of the Watchpoint Pack. The multiplayer component of Overwatch 2 does not cost anything extra to play.
No, even if you already possess Overwatch 1, it will cost you. Nothing to pay.
Yet, if you’re looking for the game on PlayStation, you’ll be sent to this bundle. The “Origins” edition of the game was available for free download; nevertheless, it was difficult to track down. On Xbox, I was only offered the premium Watchpoint Pack and no access to the free Origins edition.
There is further murkiness because Blizzard previously discussed forthcoming single-player/co-op campaign-type objectives as paid content, leading some to believe that free OW2 was never going to be the case. We had to make some adjustments to the schedule.
Blizzard has decided to release Overwatch 2 in two parts: the free, multiplayer launch, which is happening right now, and the additional campaign material, which is expected to arrive in 2023 and be sold separately. However, Overwatch is transitioning to a freemium business model. Just like Apex Legends, each season brings a new battle pass and a fresh batch of heroes to unlock.
All of the original characters from Overwatch 1 should be available to exist players and owners of Overwatch 2 from the get-go. Blizzard has stated that it would take around 100 matches for new players to unlock the whole selection of characters. This is done to ease new players into the game without overwhelming them.
I don’t believe you can skip this step, and I certainly don’t think the $40 Watchpoint Pack does, but the information is so muddled that I can’t be sure. No, you really don’t need to drop $40 on whatever it is that Blizzard is constantly pushing on you. I don’t believe it’s smart for Blizzard to constantly hide the fact that Overwatch 2 is, at its core, a free game.
With the release of Overwatch 2 later today, new players are bound to have questions, and I hope I was able to answer some of them.