Overwatch have been shining around from some time, within its Beta phase, but as soon as it comes out I’m now prepared to get into it.
When Overwatch was revealed, Blizzard showed a really nice idea for a First Person Shooter, based on team-play and special abilities, with interesting characters, an enjoyable world, a pixar-like trailer and an epic gameplay.
Soon the questions regarding prices and new content model began.
Blizzard most recent game, Heroes of the Storm, was a great novelty for the MOBA scene, giving a more fun and calm take of it. Of course, to get into the competition for attention against Defense of the Ancients or League of Legends, it also needed to be free-to-play, offering microtransactions for heroes, heroes’ skins and experience boosts. Heroes and special heroes’ skins can be bought with in-game currency.
Hearthstone, Blizzard’s digital card game, came out as the first free-to-play game of the company, selling card packs and singleplayer adventures, that also can be bought with the in-game currency.
I believe that both these games, specially Hearthstone, gave an incredible example of how to use this business model, with all credit of their success due to the visuals and innovative gameplay of both games.
So, we all though that Overwatch would came out as a free-to-play game, since the game follow the MOBA base as a 5v5 players hero fight. How would we get more heroes and maps? Microtransactions seemed to be the way.
During the Beta, players got to know more of the game, specially its hero-rotation mechanic: During a match, you are able to change your hero so you can get the best man/ woman for the challenge ahead. So, the idea of charging for Heroes started to be a bad omen. Just like charging for new maps in a multiplayer game, since it would divide the community.
But before the monetization part was revealed, Overwatch got its pre-order deals, unveiling a pay wall for the game, $39,99/ €39,99/ £29,99 for PC and $59,99/ €59,99/ £44,99 for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One Origins Editions, as well as a Collector’s Edition.
A pay wall and important content being given through microtransactions?
Blizzard took a long time to reveal these questions about Overwatch’s monetization, finally lifting my worries by revealing that new maps and heroes will be free and available to all players.
So, ok! I’m now ready to buy it an play it just as I would for a reasonable game. But, won’t the fact that Blizzard won’t be getting money out of new heroes and maps, except for heroes skins, be a reason for delays between the release of new content? I hope not.