Overwatch 2 Hero Mode Cancelled

Blizzard conducted a developer chat livestream today to lay out the 2023 roadmap for Overwatch 2. This revealed the cancellation of the planned Hero Mode for the first-person shooter sequel. This PvE mode was a main justification for announcing Overwatch 2 as a replacement for the original Overwatch. The explanation takes some interesting turns. A lot of work is already invested in Hero Mode, which is described as "amazing content," "awesome missions," and "new enemies that are super fun to fight." The bad news is that this is not coming together the way it was envisioned, and with no end in sight, it is being abandoned. The conversation reveals a mode called Starwatch that will still bring some PvE into the mix. An interview on GameSpot has thoughts from game director Aaron Keller and executive producer Jared Neuss on the news, and what PvE elements are still coming to the game. "I think I would characterize it slightly differently, which is we are doing part of what the team had set out to do, but not the entirety of what was discussed back at BlizzCon 2019," explains Keller. "So the real focus is on the story missions and that experience as opposed to the more open-ended hero mode and that stuff." Keller and Neuss joined the developer stream to break the news. Here's word from Jared Neuss:
But at the same time, development on the PvE experience really hasn't made the progress that we would have hoped. The team has created a bunch of amazing content, so there's awesome missions that are really exciting. There's brand new enemies that are super fun to fight, and some truly great and ridiculous hero talents. But, unfortunately, the effort required to pull all of that together into a Blizzard-quality experience that we can ship to you is huge. And there really is no end in sight or defined end date where we can put that out into the world.

And so we are left with another difficult choice. Do we continue to pour all that effort into PvE, hoping we can land it at some point in the future? Or do we stick with this set of values that we have aligned on and focus on the live game and focus on serving all of you? With everything we have learned about what it takes to operate this game at the level that you deserve, it's clear that we can't deliver on that original vision for PvE that was shown in 2019. What that means is that we won't be delivering that dedicated Hero Mode with talent trees, that long-term talent power progression. Those things are just not in our plans anymore. And we know that this is going to be disappointing to many of you which is why we wanted to bring it up before we talk about the road map. And to be perfectly honest it's been really difficult for many of us and a lot of folks on the team who poured their heart and soul into that stuff.