After the recent announcement that Blizzard would be canceling the anticipated Hero Missions for Overwatch 2director Aaron Keller has published a new blog post on the game’s official website talking about the decision to cancel the PvE mode.
Keller talks about the origins of the Overwatch team and how the game was essentially created from the ashes of the since-cancelled Project Titan MMO, and how the team behind the game was considered an MMO team. Keller describes the studio’s “crawl, walk, run” plan, with the core of Overwatch’s PvP gameplay being the crawl, a dedicated version of PvE for the game being the walk, and an eventual MMO release being the run.
“It was built into the DNA of the team early on, and some of us considered that final game a true realization of the original vision of Project Titan,” said Keller.
However, since then, Keller talks about how the team faced quite a bit of difficulty in developing Hero Missions, with its scope going too large. While the studio built some aspects of the game mode, like hero talents and enemy units, it couldn’t bring all of these aspects together.
“We had an exciting but gargantuan vision and we were continuously pulling resources away from the live game in an attempt to realize it,” says Keller. “I can’t help but look back on our original ambitions for Overwatch and feel like we used the slogan of “crawl, walk, run” to continue to march forward with a strategy that just wasn’t working.”
Keller describes that the decision to cancel Hero Missions would have to be made, since the game mode just wasn’t coming together. He also talks about the timing of the cancellation announcement. The team apparently kept trying to make the Hero Missions happen while planning out Overwatch 2‘s seasonal content.
“We couldn’t,” says Keller. “And we also knew that we couldn’t go back to pulling people away from the live game in service of that original vision again. So, we made the difficult decision to cut Hero Missions and started planning for the future.”
Keller had previously discussed canceling the Hero Missions mode for Overwatch 2 in an interview earlier this week. Keller was also clear that the cancellation had nothing to do with Blizzard’s mandate for its employees to return to the office after a few years of remote working.