The information from Blizzcon just keeps flowing. Hot on the heels of new Overwatch heroes being revealed, an interview with the director of Overwatch, Jeff Kaplan brought Blizzard’s future plans for the game and the Overwatch pricing model to light.
The full notes of the Q&A session conducted by members of the Overwatch subreddit can be found here, and cover a number of topics regarding the game. And while many people’s hopes that Blizzard would use the free-to-play model for Overwatch were dashed as Blizzard opened pre-orders for the game yesterday, the topics of new heroes, potential DLC and microtransactions have been subject to mass speculation.
Firstly is the now-obvious bar to entry for Overwatch, the initial price. The base game itself starts at £29.99 for the standard edition, £39.99 for the Origin edition, featuring exclusive skins and unlocks in other Blizzard games and the currently unpriced Collector’s Edition. This physical release features a statue of hero “Soldier 76”, an artbook, soundtrack and the digital bonuses from the Origin edition. Unfortunately for those yet to get into the beta, pre-ordering Overwatch at any level will not grant you access to the beta.
For those willing to purchase the game, all of the current heroes will be available out of the gate at launch, with no intentions of including a ‘hero store’ using either real or in-game currency. It is also currently uncertain as to whether new heroes will be added at all, let alone whether they will have a price attached, instead wishing to wait for community feedback on the state of the game. All this just leaves one real concern in my mind: cosmetics. The Overwatch team are supposedly working on a third version of a progression system that may tie into the cosmetics, hopefully hinting at them being available through play. That just leaves skins up to debate, as all of the currently known skins are paid for, albeit through pre-ordering the game or purchasing the Origin Edition.
I think for many of us now, desire to get into the beta has grown, as it’s no longer just about playing the game early, but a chance to see whether the game is worth Blizzard’s asking price. Are you pleased that Blizzard seem to be avoiding the now-common freemium or pay-to-win models, or are you put off at having an upfront cost when other similar games such as Team Fortress 2 are now free?