Blizzard is taking a new approach to microtransactions in Overwatch 2, ditching the loot boxes from the multiplayer shooter’s predecessor in favor of an in-game cosmetics shop.
During an Overwatch 2 press roundtable, Gaming was informed that loot boxes would not appear in the upcoming game. Instead of blindly opening packs to earn random cosmetic items, players can purchase their content directly.
“As we transition to Overwatch 2, we will be discontinuing our loot boxes in favor of a new system that is an in-game store,” said Overwatch Vice President and Commercial Lead Jon Spector. “Players can go in and make direct purchases of the cosmetic items they want.”
However, the game’s approach to microtransactions has not been fully defined. Speaking at the roundtable, Spector said additional details, such as how players can link their Overwatch accounts across platforms to advance the sequel, will be announced at a later date.
Meanwhile, game director Aaron Keller said some details are still being worked out behind the scenes. Without a full picture of how Overwatch 2’s free-to-play business model works, he said, it’s hard to know exactly what the game’s monetization systems will offer. “More than anything,” Keller said, “we just want it to be fair to the players; to be generous with the players.”
fun and fair
The removal of loot boxes represents a big change for the Overwatch series. Blind luck packs were once a staple of nearly every competitive multiplayer shooter, and Overwatch’s first in-game monetization system relied solely on them.
But loot boxes have gone out of fashion among major video game publishers in recent years. Fortnite’s battle royale mode never included them, nor did Call of Duty: Warzone. As players become increasingly wary of what are often seen as predatory money-making systems, and some countries Out (opens in new tab)right banish them under the gambling law, publishers began looking for new ways to monetize their games.
Blizzard is doing just that, as Overwatch 2 pivots to a free-to-play model supported primarily by a battle pass. The nine-week rolling pass will offer character skins, weapon charms, and new voice lines through a free and premium progression track.
Players will be eagerly waiting to see just how generous and fair Overwatch 2’s systems really are. Blizzard’s latest release, Diablo Immortal, was criticized for its excessive monetization and hidden progression limits that punish free-to-play players.
Overwatch 2 is scheduled to release on October 4th for PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X|S. Check out the roadmap now and what we know about the new PvE mode.