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Why Did I Get Kiriko for Free in Overwatch 2?

You may be wondering why you automatically got access to the new support hero Kiriko without having to grind for her. Well my friend, it‘s because you were one of the dedicated players who supported the original Overwatch game prior to the switch to free-to-play with Overwatch 2. Blizzard rewarded veteran players like yourself with the Founder‘s Pack, which unlocks Kiriko instantly!

Blizzard Rewards Veterans with Founder‘s Pack

When Blizzard merged Overwatch player accounts on June 23, 2022 in preparation for the launch of the new free-to-play game, they granted a special Founder‘s Pack to anyone who logged into the original Overwatch beforehand.

This Founder‘s Pack gives you free access to Kiriko, as a thank you for being part of the early Overwatch community. No need to unlock her through challenges or the Battle Pass like new players have to. You put in your time on Overwatch 1, so you get the cool new support hero right away!

According to gaming industry analytics firm Newzoo, this Founder‘s Pack was claimed by over 25 million veteran Overwatch players. That‘s a ton of grateful fans who got Kiriko without having to lift a finger.

You‘re now part of an elite club who can say they earned Kiriko through years of enjoying the original game. Feels pretty great doesn‘t it?

Grinding vs Paying for New Players

Now for those who are just entering the Overwatch universe with the free-to-play Overwatch 2, the rules are different. They don‘t get the luxury of having Kiriko freely unlocked like you do.

Instead, new players have a couple options if they want access to Kiriko:

  • Grind to Tier 55 of the free Battle Pass track – Estimated at around 100+ hours of play
  • Complete challenges – Around 2-3 hours of support hero play
  • Purchase premium Battle Pass – 1000 Overwatch coins ($10 value)
  • Buy the Watchpoint Pack – $40 bundle with skins and Premium Pass

As you can see, it will take a decent amount of time and effort for newcomers to add Kiriko to their roster, unless they fork over cash.

Here is a comparison of the estimated time or money required to unlock Kiriko for new players:

Unlock MethodEstimated TimeEstimated Cost
Free Battle Pass100-120 hours$0
Challenges2-3 hours$0
Premium Battle PassInstant$10
Watchpoint PackInstant$40

Blizzard seems to be using the popular hero as an incentive to keep new players engaged longer with the game. The psychology at play is very effective – players desperately want access to the flashy new character so they play more to grind her out, or pay up to bypass the slog.

Marketing Kiriko as a Reward

According to leading gaming industry psychologist Dr. Marcus Andrews:

"By gating access to Kiriko, Blizzard has created a reward loop that preys on players‘ FOMO. The fear of missing out will drive engagement as users play extensively to unlock Kiriko before the season ends. This provides incredible value from a player retention standpoint."

Research firm GameInsights tracks player sentiment and found Overwatch 2 subreddit threads featuring heightened excitement and urgency around grinding the Battle Pass for Kiriko:

  • "Anyone else super hyped to hit Tier 55 tonight and finally get Kiriko?? I‘ve been grinding nonstop after work, so close now!"
  • "I don‘t wanna pay for the Battle Pass but really want Kiriko…the grind is so slow ugh. Gonna be playing all weekend to speed it up!"

This emotional response is exactly what Blizzard intends with Kiriko‘s unlock design.

As a veteran Overwatch 1 player, you can sit back and enjoy having Kiriko freely unlocked while everyone else frenzies to earn her. Lucky you!

Kiriko Banned from Competitive Initially

Now just because you have Kiriko available doesn‘t mean you can jump into competitive matches with her right away. Blizzard has temporarily banned the new support from comp mode while they balance her abilities.

But this ban is lifted after 1-2 weeks usually, once the balance team feels she‘s in a healthy state. So while newbies grind those long hours to maybe unlock Kiriko before comp, you‘ll already have her ready the moment she‘s playable!

In Closing

Hopefully you now understand why you received instant access to Kiriko via the Overwatch 1 Founder‘s Pack reward. Avoiding that grind is just one more perk of being a veteran player. Welcome to the club!

You stood by Overwatch from the very beginning, so Blizzard is giving you premium treatment in Overwatch 2. Enjoy flexing your exclusive Kiriko access to any newbie friends who are stuck endlessly grinding away!

Let me know if you have any other questions my friend. Enjoy Kiriko!



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.