In a recent interview, Blizzard admits that it may end up adding microtransactions into Overwatch to help fund the game beyond launch to to counteract the free DLC.
To many players surprise, Blizzard announced at BlizzCon this year that the team based shooter Overwatch would not only be coming to consoles via an Origins Edition, but the game will also be releasing with a sixty dollar price tag. About a month after that announcement, Blizzard finally revealed its post-launch content plans, and many were again surprised to learn that all extra characters and maps would be coming to players for free. While great news for players, Blizzard still had yet to answer how they planned to continue to fund the game beyond the initial launch window.
“We haven’t locked in exactly whether there’ll be additional monetisation after launch or not. Some of that is because we want to watch the launch itself and see how successful that is, and see what sort of player base we end up with and see how engaged they are.”
In a recent interview, game director Jeff Kaplan was asked how Blizzard plans to monetize Overwatch after releasing it as a full priced title and offering future DLC for free. While Kaplan couldn’t confirm or deny that microtransactions were on the table, he did make sure to point out that the team is currently more concerned with how enjoyable the game is for players rather than the business model they plan to install.
“Right now, our biggest concern with Overwatch isn’t about how many ways in which we can monetise people, but it’s more along the lines of making sure that the game is really fun and that we get a really big audience that enjoys playing the game with each other.”
At this time, Kaplan did not comment on the type of microtransactions that could be included, but the most reasonable guesses would point to items like XP boosters or cosmetic types of paid content including new character or weapon skins.
Microtransactions are nothing new to Blizzard as the developer does feature them in many of their games like Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm. A few months ago, it was reported that free-to-play card battle game, Hearthstone pulls in $20 million in revenue for Blizzard each month. While not quite as popular as Hearthstone, Blizzards other free-to-play title, Heroes of the Storm, also offers new characters, skins, and other items representing another valuable revenue stream for the company. There’s no doubt that Blizzard would love to duplicate that kind of success with Overwatch.
Are you okay with Blizzard adding microtransactions to Overwatch considering that they’re already promised post-launch maps and characters will be free? Feel free to sound off in the comments below.
Overwatch is planned for release sometime in the Spring of 2016 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.