After updating Overwatch with Summer Games content, the team-based multiplayer shooter's director explains why the Olympic items are a part of seasonal loot boxes.
With Overwatch having recently updated the game with its first seasonal event, which has Olympic themed items, a lot of fans have wondered why the cosmetic objects can only be unlocked by opening special timed-exclusive loot boxes that are set to exist for just three weeks. Furthermore, some players from the shooter's community have questioned why Blizzard didn't allow fans to purchase the seasonal event content with credits, as it dissuades a lot of people to acquire the items at all.
According to Overwatch's director, Jeff Kaplan, these decisions were intentionally put in place so as to make the Summer Games items in the shooter that much more unique. After taking some time to catch up on the Blizzard forums by reading through fans' posts on the game's first seasonal event, Kaplan wrote a response to the community in order to more fully explain the studio's reasoning behind making the Olympic content only obtainable in this way.
Sometimes we want to give everything to everybody. For example, a few weeks ago we gave everyone a new hero -- Ana. Ana came with skins, emotes, sprays, highlight intros etc. that could all be purchased with credits. We also want to add new maps to the game and new stuff like the Lucioball brawl that's available to everyone equally. But sometimes we want things to feel rare and special.
We wanted to try something new with this event. As we mentioned in the Developer Update, we're learning and experimenting with this event. And if the event is received well (my impression so far is that it is being received well once you remove the debate over the items not being available for credits), we will run it again next year.
Kaplan went on to state that he was "not posting exactly what some of you want to hear right now," and hoped that fans would eventually give the event as a whole the chance to "play out before fully passing judgement." These most recent statements from the Overwatch director build upon his explanation in a developer update video about the Summer Games event uploaded yesterday.
For those unaware, opening a Summer Games loot box in Overwatch guarantees players at least one of the new items, but that's basically the only way for gamers to get them. Should fans wish to obtain all of the cosmetics, though, it would translate to possibly having to open more than 100 boxes in all, which would either require a lot of time spent in the game or a lot of money, for at their lowest going rate, loot box microtransactions cost $40 for a pack of 50, or 80¢ apiece.
However, it was never Blizzard's intention for players to get every piece of Overwatch's Summer Games items. Regarding the matter, Kaplan said, "We want these items to feel extra special and very rare, so we don’t want everybody running around all the time in every single Summer Games item. And we actually don’t expect that all players will get every Summer Games item."
So, although a lot of Overwatch fans are still miffed by Blizzard's decision to design the first seasonal event in this way, it seems as if this "big experiment" by the studio is set to run its course. Not to mention, after the three weeks for the Summer Games are over, the most likely scenario to occur will be a result of many players looking at the whole situation as a foggy and distant memory, as they turn their attention toward the game's future content, such as the possible addition of the hero Sombra.
Overwatch is out now and is available for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.