The troubled launch of Overwatch 2 is a full-blown saga now. Today, in an attempt to address issues pertaining to Torbjörn and Bastion, Blizzard announced that it would be pulling the characters entirely from some game modes. Don’t fret if you don’t see them, that part is intentional. While there’s no word on how long the characters will be inaccessible, the move is presumably to fix Bastion’s infinite ultimate, along with a Torbjörn ability that lacked its cooldown. Somehow, in doing so, Blizzard has created an entirely new problem: An entire swath of characters are no longer accessible for some players.
Logging in myself, as someone who previously had the entire roster unlocked, I now have 12 characters whom I can no longer access. They are Doomfist, Sigma, Wrecking Ball, Ashe, Echo, Mei, Sombra, Symmetra, Torbjörn, Zenyatta, Kiriko, Baptiste, and Brigitte. Restarting the game didn’t help with unlocking the characters, nor did restarting my PS5. The characters simply retained the little lock icon, even though I was playing with some of these inaccessible characters just earlier today. And looking at social media, I am not alone in this issue: There are a ton of confused people who don’t know what’s going on right now, yelling at Blizzard to undo it.
“What is going on at Blizzard now???” one player tweeted, while commenting on their inability to access their full roster. “Can’t play almost any of my mains,” another who is experiencing the roster issue said.
This follows after a week of other huge issues, in which players couldn’t log into the game at all, had trouble migrating their accounts from the first Overwatch, couldn’t use prepaid phones, and bizarrely, suffered a technical issue whereby the chat could somehow buy things from the store. While all of these issues have been fixed or improved, players keep discovering other bugs or unfinished assets. It’s all left the impression that Overwatch 2 feels more like an early-access game than a fully-fledged, polished, finished product. And with the developer having to pull entire characters and ending up breaking the entire game in the process, it’s getting harder to argue in defense of Overwatch 2 even if it is fun to play.
Kotaku’s reached out to Blizzard to inquire about this enormous bug. From the sounds of it, this isn’t the first time that some players have been locked out of accessing characters since launch, but the issue appears to be significantly more widespread than before. According to players who experienced the bug prior to today, it took about a day for it to resolve.
Update 11:41 p.m. ET: Overwatch went down for maintenance for an estimated hour, and is now back up if you’re currently reading this. In a forum post that compiles known issues, Blizzard acknowledged the locked characters bug, noting that “This is caused by an issue with our servers that tracks player progression. We are working to get this issue resolved as quickly as possible.” When I initially loaded the game on PS5, I could access all my previously unlocked roster. Speaking to other players, it seems like a mixed bag. Some are finding the issue is now gone, others still have their characters gone. This tracks, because the locked roster was a thing that some were experiencing prior to tonight, it just happened to massively spread after the initial Torb + Bastion fix. Your mileage may vary. While my roster is back, I now have a totally new issue: I keep getting kicked out of games.
Correction 10/10/2022 8:38 p.m. ET: This post previously stated it was over half the roster, when it’s 12 out of 34. However, players are reporting different numbers of inaccessible characters than I personally am experiencing.