The Real Reason Why Overwatch 2’s PvE Mode Was Cancelled

Yesterday, I mentioned the reasoning that Blizzard publicly made, explaining why the PvE mode was canceled for Overwatch 2. Well, according to an anonymous source provided by Sir Swag on YouTube that only told half the story. According to the source at Blizzard, the decision was “1000% an upper management executive issue.” The big suits at Activision saw the money being raked in with Diablo Immortal making $2 million dollars a day. Then, they decided that the free to play model for Overwatch 2 was enough to make them money in the long term.

Developing the talent trees for every hero was taking up a ton of resources. With 37 heroes in the game each hero had 50 skills in their skill tree. Making a grand total of 1,850 skill trees to develop, test, and balance. Which even for a AAA team, would be a ton of work. Blizzard execs looked at the PvE mode as increasingly irrelevant the more time and money it took to develop. Which ultimately resulted in the plug getting pulled on it.

The talent trees that were designed for the now cancelled Overwatch 2 PvE mode

Losing Steam Fast

But that wasn’t the end of issues at Blizzard in regards to Overwatch 2. They were losing talent, and fast. Since 2018, Activision Blizzard has been in turmoil internally thanks to their multiple controversies and lawsuits over the past few years. Because of this, a lot of their top talent was leaving to move on to other game companies.

On top of that, the Overwatch team at Blizzard was always smaller than other teams, especially when compared to the WoW team. When Overwatch 2 was announced in 2019, a lot of people agreed that it was too soon. It was likely that an upper management person like Bobby Kotick was trying to steer the online conversations from controversy to the new game. 

Overwatch 2 Was a Mess From the Start

Because the scope of Overwatch 2 was so big, they needed to work exclusively on that for a few years. Blizzard, like many other large studios, has their own sets of work teams. So one whole team was dedicated to Overwatch 2 for several years before its release. 

When the pandemic hit in 2020, the shift to remote work was difficult to get started, like many other jobs going remote. With the strikes going on, it was even harder to get work done. With all the delays, losing talent, and the horrible accusations and news coming from within Activision Blizzard. It was no wonder why that would affect their internal developments. Because of this, they needed to rush the PvP mode of Overwatch 2 out the door, in order to recoup development costs.

This Ain’t It Chief

Overall, with the pandemic, the controversies, lawsuits, strikes, and talent leaving. It’s no wonder why Overwatch 2 is in the state it’s in now. Here’s hoping that games coming in the future aren’t as rough.


Games Journalist, Competitive Pokemon/VGC Player, Content Creator

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