Blizzard has completely redesigned its business model for Overwatch 2. In addition to the move to free-to-play, loot boxes will be removed.
The times are changing. In 2016, Blizzard launched Overwatch, a paid competitive shooter built around a business model with loot boxes (called chests – the famous loot boxes). In 2022, the company will launch Overwatch 2, and its business model will no longer have anything to do with it. It has been detailed in a press release published on June 16after a video presentation.
We already knew thatOverwatch 2 will be free-to-play, joining the category of hyper-accessible game-services (Fortnite, Apex Legends). On the other hand, Blizzard had not yet formalized the removal of loot boxes. Instead, the players ofOverwatch 2 will be able to spend money on battle passes or directly in the in-game store.
Blizzard is modernizing with Overwatch 2
Loot boxes are criticized for being random, causing people to spend more and more until they get what they want. In some countries, they are downright akin to gambling. This is the case in Belgium and the Netherlands, where these micro-transactions are simply prohibited — which can block the release of games that combine them (recent example: Diablo Immortal). In 2020, the PEGI (Pan European Game Information) imposed the use of a badge on the jacket to indicate the presence of loot boxes in a game.
Further proof that loot boxes aren’t popular, Epic Games quickly dropped them in Fortnite (before being forced to). The company has also deleted those of Rocket League, after acquiring the Psyonix studio. In 2018, the latter had shared discouraging statistics: there was only a 1% chance of obtaining an ultra rare object in a loot box. Hence the risk of addiction.
Blizzard avoids problems by modifying the business model ofOverwatch 2 in order to make it more modern — knowing that its Diablo Immortal is criticized for its abusive microtransactions (as necessary to become more powerful). Beware, fans will still be able to waste a lot of money in Overwatch 2, in order to acquire cosmetic items. Blizzard specifies on this subject that the shop will be regularly updated and that there will be a new battle pass every nine weeks. Whether Overwatch 2 is too greedy on prices, the community will not fail to make him pay.