It’s Official – How Overwatch 2’s PVE Missions Were Doomed To Fail From The Start

With Blizzard firing most of Overwatch 2's PVE team, it's clear the mode never had a chance.

Story Highlights

  • Blizzard has finally made it clear the company has no future plans for the game’s PVE content.
  • It’s clear PVE was doomed to fail and Blizzard’s hyped Overwatch 2 launch was overblown. 

It almost seems like forever ago when Jeff Kaplan took the stage at Blizzcon 2019 to reveal Overwatch 2 to fans. Even at the time, fans called into question if this was the right move for the series. Halting the production of a prominent PVP title, only to announce a sequel, with a heavy focus on PVE just didn’t feel like the right move. But with just how much potential there was for Overwatch’s story, fans kept some semblance of enthusiasm for it.

But since then, Blizzard has gone through a number of problems, to say the least. From accusations of harassment and misconduct to developers leaving left and right, including Kaplan, who at the time was Overwatch’s lead director. With Kaplan no longer at the helm, it wasn’t clear just what Overwatch 2 was going to be like.

And then in October 2022, Blizzard finally ripped off the bandage. They admitted that the game’s PVE modes were taking longer than usual. So, instead of keeping PVP fans waiting for the new changes, they have decided to separate the two entirely. The PVP was made free-to-play, with a planned paid PVE campaign later next year. But here’s where things got even worse, and showed why PVE was always doomed to fail.

A Campaign That Lasted 45 Minutes

After a lot of hype and anticipation surrounding the PVE content for Overwatch 2, Blizzard revealed in August 2023, that they would release PVE content in chunks. The first episodic release would only include about 3 missions, each lasting 15 minutes. The worst part is that you were expected to pay 15 dollars for this content, which had almost zero replayability

Overwatch 2 talent trees
Overwatch 2 talent trees

But perhaps most importantly, what Jeff had planned for Overwatch 2 was simply too unrealistic to ever be made. Overwatch had more than 3 dozen heroes at the time, with new ones bound to be added in the future. Adding a layered and complex talent tree for every hero to make them playable in the PVE section was simply too much of an ask.

Add to that the new maps, enemy types, and scenarios you would need to add for a proper campaign. And it was clear that Overwatch 2 simply didn’t have the manpower to continue producing PVE content while keeping PVP afloat. Maybe Kaplan could have riled up support for his cause while he was present. But as soon as he left, it was clear that everyone abandoned his original vision.

Dead In The Water

Unsurprisingly, because of how lackluster the story missions for Overwatch 2 were, it sold very poorly among fans. As a result, Bloomberg recently reported that Blizzard has fired almost the entirety of the PVE team for the title. This pretty much seals the deal on Overwatch 2’s PVE and is a clear indicator that we won’t ever get the proper campaign Kaplan wanted for the game.

While it was quite clear to fans, even before this announcement that PVE was done for, it still doesn’t make the whole thing any less embarrassing for Blizzard. Especially when you consider the sheer lack of direction that led to such a whole mess. The way PVE was handled from the beginning gave off vibes that it was headed toward complete failure.

An Overwatch 2 story mission that will likely never get made now.
An Overwatch 2 story mission that will likely never get made now.

The person who wanted PVE to be a proper, replayable mode, left the company before any of this could happen. And the ones left to pick up the pieces clearly lacked the same enthusiasm. Plus, they likely lacked the resources needed to see the expansive ideas set by Jeff Kaplan to fruition. The end result was a limping mode that died a slow death while everyone pointed and laughed.

While PVE might officially be gone for Overwatch now, the truth is it was destined for death the moment Kaplan walked out of the studio in 2021. Since then, Blizzard has been trying to put out one fire after the next, with very little progress. Even if the studio didn’t pull the plug, the PVE missions were set to arrive in chunks, 18 months apart from one another. That is downright ridiculous and was bound to fail. 

One Man’s Vision

Part of the reason behind Overwatch failed, was because of Jeff Kaplan. Sure, he was the genius who came up with this GOTY shooter. But his insistence on making the game a PVE title, and Blizzard’s unwillingness to support him in this, caused Overwatch 2 to fall so deeply. Jeff always had high hopes for the Overwatch franchise. He didn’t want to just settle with it being a competitive hero shooter.

byu/Bhu124 from discussion

Maybe because Overwatch rose from the ashes of Titan, Blizzard’s failed MMO that was headed by Kaplan as well. A part of Jeff might have wanted to reach back to what he lost while making Titan. In an attempt to do so, he ended up losing Overwatch 1 too. There’s no denying that if what Kaplan wanted for the series ended up happening, then it really could have risen the franchise to new heights.

YouTube video

But with just how expansive his vision for the series was, coupled with how it neutered the existing PVP side of things, it’s unsurprising why it all came crumbling down. Especially with Kaplan walking out the door midway through development. Now, Overwatch is right back to where it began. PVE is completely out of the question, and it’s “just” the competitive shooter that Kaplan always wanted it to be more than. 

Did you find this article helpful?

Thanks! Do share your feedback with us. ⚡

How can we make this post better? Your help would be appreciated. ✍

Get up-to-speed gaming updates delivered right to your inbox.

We don’t spam! Read more in our privacy policy.

Danish is an opinion piece writer at eXputer who loves sharing his takes on the industry. He is a long-time PC gamer with a passion for delving into the discussion and discourse surrounding the titles that he plays. Often eager to jump right into the fold and formulate his take on the latest topics, his noteworthy presence on gaming forums, and keen insight help him understand the gaming community in a thorough manner. This helps him provide a more nuanced look into any topic or discussion.

Writes Opinion Pieces at eXputer || Education: Bachelors in Mass Communication.

Related Articles