Blizzard Announces Free Kiriko Amid Battle Pass Controversy

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Kiriko stands in front of a Japanese-style village.

Image: Snow storm

Blizzard has just announced that the new (and extensively filtered) the ninja character Kiriko will be free for everyone surveillance 2 players who already own a copy of the original Supervision. While that seems like cause for celebration, the controversial free-to-play sequel is moving to block access to most future characters. behind a battle pass system has been less well received. In new comments reported today, Blizzard leaders explained why they believe the new system will ultimately prove acceptable.

“What we really see in the data is that the majority of players in Supervision they have the majority of their playtime on two or fewer heroes.” Jon Spector, VP of Supervision, told the assorted press during a media call. “And you can get to 99.9% of the game time for most of our players with 12 heroes or less.”

So that’s the official line on why Blizzard feels justified in transitioning from the original. SupervisionThe model of giving each character to all players to a system that locks new heroes behind a battle pass: Original Supervision players didn’t play enough different characters, so they probably won’t miss them.

But there are a bit of mixed messages. Characters remain at the core of how Blizzard is monetizing the new game. SupervisionWalter Kong’s general manager told the press in an event that, “Heroes are the most compelling content we have in the game… We want to be able to continually invest in this live game service. From a business perspective, this is not free.”

To be sure, there will be some starter gifts for new and returning players. New heroes Sojourn and Junker Queen will be unlockable for free for all Season 1 players, and ninja support character Kiriko will be free for players who own the original. Supervision.. But new players who want to try Kiriko will have to pay $10 for the premium battle pass or grind the free pass to level 55. They will at least be able to play all 32 characters from the original. ready.

Read more: All that is displayed during the surveillance 2 ‘Reveal’ event

Kiriko is a healer who can deal decent critical damage and support her allies in the middle of a firefight, and is been described as a “battle healer” for Genji mains. This suggests a major shift in the way Blizzard will design new heroes, as it’s actively trying to avoid situations where any one character could act as a “tough counter” for another.

“We’re trying to remove some of those really hard rock-paper-scissors interactions from the game, and [replace] them with more player options,” game director Aaron Keller said. Polygon. “We’ve buffed our support heroes to make them more survivable.”

While dependency is reduced Supervision it’s on the counters generally sounds like a positive move, locking an ever-increasing proportion of the hero roster behind the battle pass tiers, free or premium alike, feels like a step backwards for player choice.

surveillance 2 It will be released on October 4 this year.

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