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Entertainment News: Blizzard will stop selling Overwatch loot boxes starting this month


08.10.2022, 07:15

Timothy “Timaugustine” Augustine

Image: Blizzard Entertainment

Say goodbye to Overwatch’s controversial loot boxes for good.

Blizzard Entertainment has announced that Overwatch’s latest update will also herald the end of the game’s loot boxes. This week’s update introduces the final Anniversary Remix Event, Vol. 3, with a whole host of recolored skins and returning events serving as the final cheer to the base game – before Overwatch 2 arrives in October.

Here are all the new skins in Anniversary Remix Vol. 3:

Once this event ends on August 30th, Blizzard will permanently remove purchasable loot boxes from the game. You cannot (temporarily) spend real money on digital goods, but you can still collect loot boxes by playing the game and leveling up as usual. Game credits will later be converted into another form of currency as well.

Loot boxes as a whole will disappear entirely once Overwatch 2 launches this October, replaced by a new in-game shop that sells custom skins and cosmetics for real money, similar to other free-to-play games like Apex Legends and Fortnite . In addition to the shop, players can also purchase cosmetics through seasonal Battle Passes in paid and free tiers.

The random nature of loot boxes has always been a subject of controversy, particularly for Blizzard, a company that has been sued multiple times in the past over its games’ loot boxes. However, Overwatch players have no reason to celebrate its departure considering that loot crates will likely be replaced in the sequel with a much more expensive monetization scheme to offset the fact that it’s free to play.

There is a difficult balance to strike with free-to-play monetization. Games like Fortnite have largely gotten it right without much opposition from their players, but other games like Apex Legends often get backlash for tricky events and expensive skins that force players to shell out inordinate amounts of money. Blizzard is already under scrutiny for its pay-to-win monetization of Diablo Immortal, so there’s no telling how Overwatch 2 will pan out. I would not be optimistic.

Overwatch Anniversary Remix Vol. 3 marks the final event of Overwatch as it exists today, before the game moves on to the sequel’s new heroes, maps, and numerous balance changes. The event will take place from August 9th to 30th and you can find more details on the launch here.

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