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Overwatch 2 ditches loot boxes for battle pass, seasonal model

New seasons will add heroes, maps, and cosmetics

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Blizzard outlined its plans for Overwatch 2’s transition from a paid, premium game to a free-to-play game during a livestream on Thursday, confirming that the sequel won’t have randomized loot boxes as the original Overwatch did. Instead, Overwatch 2 will feature a seasonal model, supported by battle passes and an in-game store, through which players can purchase cosmetic items outright with real-world money.

Season 1 of Overwatch 2 will launch when the game arrives on Oct. 4. At launch, three new heroes — Sojourn, Junker Queen, and an as-yet-unannounced support hero — will be added to the roster, as will six new maps, new game mode Push, and more than 30 new skins. Nine weeks later, season 2 two will arrive on Dec. 6, adding a new tank-class hero, a new map, and dozens of additional skins.

A roadmap graphic outlining upcoming content for Overwatch 2 through 2023 Image: Blizzard Entertainment

Overwatch 2 will also introduce new types of cosmetics, including new Mythic-tier skins that are customizable and charms that players can equip on their weapons. Blizzard showed off concept designs for one Mythic skin, a cyberpunk-style look for Genji with multiple customization options:

Concept art of a Mythic skin for Genji, showing color customization with “neon,” “tactical,” and “demonic” color schemes. Image: Blizzard Entertainment

Blizzard says that Overwatch 2 content will continue to roll out in 2023, with new seasons every nine weeks adding more new heroes (one new hero every other season), maps, modes, and skins. Next year will also see the arrival of Overwatch 2’s long-promised PvE missions, though Blizzard did not reveal any new details about PvE during a livestream on Thursday.

Overwatch 2 is coming to Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X — with cross-platform play and cross-progression across all platforms — this October.