The original Overwatch game had a unique monetization model at the time of release. All new Overwatch heroes and maps will be released completely free of charge, and players will have the opportunity to purchase additional cosmetic items through loot boxes. At that time, loot boxes did not cause much controversy, but since then they have been called predatory, and some countries have gone so far as to ban them. It has long been expected that Overwatch 2 will abandon loot boxes, and now it has been confirmed.
Blizzard has confirmed that there will be no loot boxes in Overwatch 2. Overwatch 2 will be a completely free game, with new heroes and maps that will also be distributed for free to all players, but this will make some big changes to its monetization. Overwatch 2 will use a battle pass instead of loot boxes, and players will be able to purchase a new battle pass each season to get exclusive cosmetic content. Overwatch 2 will also introduce a store where players will be able to buy new content directly, rather than roll dice with loot boxes.
This change is likely to be well received by the community. Since they were popularized by Fortnite, combat passes have become a common form of monetization in many free games and online multiplayer games, so it makes sense for Overwatch 2 to go down this path.
Along with confirming that there will be no loot boxes in Overwatch 2, Blizzard has also released a roadmap detailing its plans for the game at launch and in the following months. When the release date of Overwatch 2 in early access comes on October 4, fans can also expect the start of season 1. However, the roadmap doesn’t mention a combat pass until Overwatch 2 season 2 starts on December 6, so that’s not all. it is clear whether it will be shown in the first season or not.
Blizzard will likely reveal more information about its plans for Overwatch 2 combat passes before launch. The coming months should be full of big announcements for Overwatch 2 fans who are looking forward to, as Blizzard has confirmed that a new support hero will be unveiled between now and October 4th. The new support hero will be one of three new heroes joining Overwatch. 2 at launch, joined by the previously announced Sojourn and Junker Queen.
Overwatch 2 will be adding a new hero every two seasons, so Blizzard is definitely betting on a sequel and its new free-to-play model. The jury is still out on whether the effort will be worth it or not, but fans will find out later this year.
Overwatch 2 has already been released for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X.