In a blog, Blizzard announced that Overwatch 2 players who are new to the series will have to play 100 online matches to unlock the original’s cast. Considering that games in the previous title took at least 10-15 minutes, this is a fairly significant time investment.
Blizzard explained this decision as a part of their First Time User Experience (FTUE) model, which is meant to onboard new players. In addition to heroes, elements of in-game chat and access to competitive modes will be locked until certain criteria are met. While some of these restrictions will be lifted when playing with friends, winning 50 quick play matches will be required before diving into competitive play. According to the company, these changes are in response to feedback that new players had difficulty getting into the previous game. These restrictions will only apply to those who do not have an Overwatch 1 account. The company also revealed additional security measures, such as being required to sync a phone number with your account, meant to deter bad behavior that may result from the title going Free to Play.
This comes after a previous announcement that new characters in Overwatch 2 can only be unlocked through the game’s Battle Pass. For example, to unlock the new support character Kiriko, new players must reach tier 55 (out of 80) before the Season One Battle Pass expires. Alternatively, if you purchase the premium version of the pass for 1,000 Overwatch Coins, which costs $10 USD, you can unlock the character immediately. Battle Passes are currently planned to come out every nine weeks. While the studio said that Overwatch Coins can be earned through completing challenges and that characters in expired Battle Passes will be unlockable via other means in the future, these decisions have not gone over well with many. This new unlock system will replace Overwatch 1’s controversial Loot Boxes.
Overwatch 2 is currently slated for an Oct. 4 release and will replace the previous game when it goes live on Battle.Net. Players must log in during Season One to unlock the new characters Sojourn and Junker Queen. Similarly, those who purchased the first Overwatch will receive Kiriko if they log in during either of the first two seasons.