The screenshot was posted by former Blizzard Senior UI Artist, Jayson Kirby, who worked at the company from 2017-2020. Kirby uploaded a set of images and videos on the site as part of a resume, showing off the new updated design of the Overwatch 2 HUD and menus. One intriguing feature seen on the main menu is the “Battle Pass” section, potentially hinting at a new microtransaction model for the upcoming game.
Though it must be stressed that these screenshots show two-year-old version of the UI and are not representative of the final product, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a Battle Pass system featured in Overwatch 2. After the huge financial success of games like Fortnite, which made $1.8 billion in revenue in 2019, many live service games like Call of Duty: Warzone have adopted a similar model, substantiating a fixed one-time payment with a Battle Pass subscription.
The appearance of a “Challenges” section beneath the “Battle Pass” adds further to the possibility of one appearing in the final product. While achievements have always been present in Overwatch, getting them only unlocks sprays for the character being played. The addition of challenges would bring the game more in line with other live services, which offer weekly and daily challenges to gain XP and level up the Battle Pass.
This is good news for Overwatch fans who enjoy the cosmetic aspects of the game but don’t like the grind needed to earn them. Provided Battle Pass owners play the game regularly and complete challenges, they can unlock every new skin available, as opposed to the loot box model which relies entirely on luck and on how much gold they’ve saved. Plus, with more and more countries like Brazil cracking down on loot boxes and declaring them a form of online gambling, a Battle Pass seems like a much more viable money-making option.
Players may even still get to purchase new skins as a loot box icon still appears next to the “Shop” in Kirby’s screenshot, suggesting Blizzard have not entirely ruled out that method of monetization. As Overwatch 2 players in the closed beta remain under NDA, Overwatch fans won’t learn much more about the game until the public beta launches on PC on April 26.
Overwatch 2 is currently in development.