Overwatch 2 announces PvE Story Missions will be locked behind a paywall

Posted on June 14, 2023

Not long after announcing the cancellation of the planned PvE Hero Missions, Blizzard has confirmed that PvE Story Missions for Overwatch 2 will be coming…for a price. In a blog post, Blizzard has confirmed that the upcoming Invasion season will include PvE Story Missions, which players can pay $15 USD to permanently unlock. Upon completion of these Story Mission challenges, players also unlock access to Sojourn, a new Support Hero.

In its announcement post, Blizzard explains that Overwatch 2: Invasion will include 3 PvE Story Missions, which take place in Rio de Janeiro, Toronto, and Gothenburg. Unlike the regular narrative-lite PvP gameplay that Overwatch 2 players have become accustomed to, Invasion will actually include an in-depth storyline as opposed to providing most of the story content in supplementary media. Those who purchase the Overwatch 2: Invasion bundle will be entitled to:

  • Access to the Overwatch 2: Invasion Story Missions, during the season and permanently after
  • 1,000 Overwatch Coins (equal to the Premium Battle Pass, $10 USD value)
  • A brand-new Sojourn Legendary skin ($19 USD value)
  • Permanent access to Sojourn as a playable hero for new players: unlocked upon completing Story Mission challenges.

The main new piece of information is that the PvE content, which many players have been awaiting since Overwatch 2 was announced, will be exclusive to those who purchase the Overwatch 2: Invasion Bundle, which is priced at $15 USD (Australian pricing pending). While admittedly Overwatch 2 is free-to-play, and thus needs to make its money somewhere, many had hoped that the PvE content would be a free update. After all, considering that it is such a highly-anticipated feature, it was not considered something that would likely be gated behind a paywall. The missions can still be purchased after the season is over, and there are reportedly no plans to make them free to access at this stage.

This is not a very good look for Overwatch 2. Considering the playerbase’s desire for PvE content, scrapping the hotly-anticipated free Hero Missions and then announcing that the Story Missions would be exclusive to paying players is not something that is likely to endear Blizzard to Overwatch fans. Although the economics of the live service model perhaps required making a core element such as this a paid feature, for those wanting to enjoy the game purely as a free-to-play experience, it may turn them off for good. Hopefully, at least some kind of PvE experience will be made available for all players at some point.

Overwatch 2: Invasion will be launching on the 10th of August 2023. More gameplay footage and information will be provided during the Overwatch 2: Invasion Reveal livestream on the 21st of June.