How Overwatch 2’s Monetization Is Causing Issues

With its impending release soon, more and more information about Overwatch 2 is being released and as more info comes out the more fans are beginning to worry about the game, especially with the most recent Battle Pass information. 

Having gone for a Free-To-Play model, Blizzard were going to have to monetize Overwatch 2 somehow. With the controversies with gambling and Loot boxes lately, Blizzard has gone for a Battle Pass route, just like the other Activision shooters. This is where fans are starting to worry about how much of an impact that Activision’s success has on Blizzard’s projects. Many agree that Loot Boxes are an outdated model. Nonetheless, fans of Overwatch aren’t happy with how Blizzard has locked the most recent hero Kiriko behind the Battle Pass.

We have gone into the Battle Pass and unlockable heroes before. This article’s focus will be expressing more of the concerns and worries surrounding it all. 

The Hero Of Controversy: Kiriko!

The Hero Of Controversy: Kiriko!

Kiriko And Future Heroes

While Kiriko is on the free path of the Battle Pass, this could very easily change in future seasons if Blizzard don’t see the game making the profit they want. After the Diablo Immortal Fiasco, the combination of Blizzard and Microtransactions is enough to put worry in the minds of all. Fans have shown feelings of “Betrayal” due to all previous Overwatch Heroes being free to play the day they release. Now they have to grind the game to unlock a character they may not even play.

Kiriko requires you to get through over half of the Battle Pass and reach Tier 55. Meaning you better have time to grind the game before the season ends. This is unless players buy the Premium Battle Pass. One piece of good news is that Overwatch 1 players get Kiriko instantly. Any new players though, will have to suffer through the grind. Either that or crack open their wallets and purchase the Premium Pass.

The fact that Kiriko needs to be unlocked is the main issue here. Overwatch 2 being a character-based game, this way of getting characters is very common but often looked down upon. These locked characters may get privilege to be better from a gameplay stance due to players having to earn them or pay for them to gain access to them. This is beneficial for the games revenue and player base and the character being powerful gives players incentive to need them.

The Lure Of Battle Pass

The Lure Of Battle Pass

The Pay-To-Win Fears

The game may be Free-To-Play but it is only a few steps away from being a Pay-To-Win model, which scares me. P2W is extremely common with Free-To-Play games, it is done to make money to cover development costs or capitalize of a game’s popularity or community. If a F2P game is popular but is not making the profits the team needs, it is very easy to dangle content behind a paywall. This content could be things that players almost need to win or enjoy the game.

Blizzard could just make all Overwatch 2 heroes broken while they are on the battle pass and then nerf them once the season ends. This is why this is a horrible business practice and why fans are so annoyed. By having only certain characters needing to be unlocked, Blizzard can abuse the excitement and potential of new heroes to get more players to buy the Battle Pass or play the game.

They could even make heroes become exclusive to the Premium Pass if the game is not making enough money. While faith is hard to put into Blizzard, I do believe the team behind Overwatch do listen to fans and will not abuse this easy cash magnet. With the team having most of its lead roles leave and the upcoming Xbox ownership over Blizzard. Who knows if Overwatch 2’s future is as bright as Overwatch 1 or will it be as awful as other Free-To-Play titles.

Season 1 Battle Pass Preview

Season 1 Battle Pass Preview

The Battle Pass

The Battle Pass may bring tons of new cosmetics but almost all of it is exclusively for the Premium Battle Pass. The free Battle Pass only contains 2 Epic skins! This is outrageously pathetic considering for players this will be their only way to unlock any form of new skin. Aside from buying them from the brand-new Store. This Store requires the new paid “Overwatch Coins” currency, and we currently have no idea how pricey these may be. The old skins will still be unlockable with Overwatch Credits just like before. So, if the Battle Pass isn’t to your liking there will be plenty of old items to unlock.

Based on a survey Blizzard had, we do have an idea of what the prices of everything could look like. Note the Blizzard did address this saying none of these prices are final.

 

Costs

The Battle Pass costs 1000 Overwatch Coins and this totals to 10$USD. Which is on the lower end of Battle Pass prices. For this price you get access to only an Epic skin, 5 Legendary skins, and a Mythic skin. Plus 56 other rewards ranging from Charms and Icons to Sprays and Voicelines. Blizzard have also confirmed the release of reworked events from Overwatch 1 returning, this is concerning however as we currently don’t know how the usual item drops will work outside the Battle Pass, they will either be limited-time items in the shop or potentially in a smaller Battle Pass.

The Dreaded Yet Almost Reasonable Paid Currency

The Dreaded Yet Almost Reasonable Paid Currency

There is hope! After the season has ended new heroes will get a set of challenges to unlock them for free. There will also be daily, weekly and monthly challenges to earn Overwatch Coins. Which means dedicated players can unlock the Premium Pass through F2P means. How grindy and unrewarding this maybe we will have to wait till the game releases to find out…

Overall thoughts 

Overall, I feel that the Battle Pass is a good way for Overwatch 2 to distribute cosmetics and items. However, the approach to releasing heroes is just an incentive for players to buy the Premium Pass. It is very concerning for the future of the game. This all has me worried for the PvE content releasing in 2023, will this be released in parts to get even more money? It will depend on how successful the current monetization is.

Overwatch 2 releases on October 4th on PC, PS5 +PS4, Xbox Series X + One and Nintendo Switch. What is your opinion on the changes in Overwatch’s unlockables? Are you going to miss Loot Boxes or enjoy playing the game while earning rewards with the Battle Pass? How do you feel about having to unlock future heroes? And what’s your thoughts about Overwatch 2 being Free-To-Play?

Leave your thoughts in the comments down below!

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