Yesterday, Blizzard announced the latest event for Overwatch 2. In celebration of the Lunar New Year, the Year of the Rabbit seasonal event brings some holiday-themed stylings across maps, and some returning game modes. But a lack of compelling and earnable skins and cosmetics has fans disappointed, pining for the days of Overwatch 1. The new skins are locked behind the game’s shop; meanwhile the only free skins are recycled from the previous game.
Overwatch 2 launched in October of last year. Rebranding itself as a live-service shooter, complete with a purchasable battle pass and a variety of different timed challenges. With the original Overwatch no longer playable, having gone offline when the sequel launched, fans of the game’s unique team-based multiplayer are stuck with 2’s many unpopular and contentious changes, which includes a reduction of 6v6 matches to 5v5 and the disappearance of the once-unpopular lootboxes; a more modern battle pass and cosmetic shop structure replaced it. Such alterations have proven very unpopular with the Overwatch community. And the Year of the Rabbit Seasonal event doesn’t look to improve the negative sentiment.
Though the event might seem exciting on paper, with two capture the flag modes, a free-for-all mode deathmatch, actual rewards for playing the game are sparse—particularly when compared to the original game. The only new skins, a Lunar New Year-themed getup for Mei and a non-event related one for Rammatra, are locked behind the cash shop. And unlike previous events in Overwatch 1, there isn’t a whole lot to earn just by playing the game outside of a skin from the original game.
You don’t have to search far to find disappointment brewing within the community. Several top posts on the official Overwatch forums follow a familiar trend, with titles like “Soo ..Same content cycle, but worse?”, “I FEEL GROSS clicking Shop”, and “You have got to be kidding me.” That very last one cuts to the heart of why, beyond a lack of new, earnable skins, the event seems to neglect the very spirit of the game’s own characters.
“It’s the year of the rabbit” the post starts, “and we aren’t getting a rabbit themed D.Va skin? D.Va’s whole aesthetic is rabbit. Tokki [D.Va’s mech] is rabbit in Korean! Her gun is called the bunny blaster. She has a bunny hop emote. She has a voice line saying ‘this rabbit fights back.’ But they’re giving Mei a rabbit themed skin?”
Thematic incongruity aside, the lack of any exciting skins to earn has fans feeling like the “legacy events are completely pointless and worthless now.” A rising post on Reddit lays out a direct comparison between how these events used to go in Overwatch 1 if you’re curious. Though the previous game used controversial lootboxes with randomized prizes (which many are lamenting the loss of) to deal out free skins, there were at least three new skins earnable just by playing the game. The current event really only introduces one new skin, and it costs about 10 bucks (which you need to redeem in the game’s premium currency to purchase).
Overwatch 2’s Year of the Rabbit seasonal event is currently live, running until February 6.