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Blizzard Entertainment is splitting up Overwatch 2's PvE and PvP modes

Blizzard is prioritizing Overwatch 2's PvP release--the first Blizzard game to debut in this staged rollout format.

Bryant Francis, Senior Editor

March 10, 2022

1 Min Read
Key art for Overwatch 2

Blizzard has announced that Overwatch 2's PvP and PvE modes will be launching separately, with the goal of getting the game's PvP mode out sooner than if it had to wait for PvE to be finalized. 

In a video announcement, game director Aaron Keller says the goal is to get PvP into the hands of players "sooner." This means Overwatch 2 would be the first Blizzard game to release as a staggered product. 343 Industries released Halo Infinite in a similar fashion, debuting its PvP mode as a free-to-play game with in-app purchases and its campaign as a standalone product that could also be unlocked by Xbox Game Pass.

It's a fairly savvy strategy when you consider that Overwatch was first and foremost a competitive PvP game, one buoyed by an officially-run esports league. 

Overwatch 2's rocky development has been further disrupted by explosive revelations about alleged sexual harassment and discrimination at parent company Activision Blizzard--that also directly implicated the work culture at Blizzard Entertainment. The game has also seen some of its development leads like beloved director Jeff Kaplan depart the company in the last two years as well.

The sped-up release of Overwatch 2's PvP mode means that Blizzard will be launching a beta for the game in late April. 

About the Author(s)

Bryant Francis

Senior Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Bryant Francis is a writer, journalist, and narrative designer based in Boston, MA. He currently writes for Game Developer, a leading B2B publication for the video game industry. His credits include Proxy Studios' upcoming 4X strategy game Zephon and Amplitude Studio's 2017 game Endless Space 2.

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