Overwatch going strong after it’s first year, but who knows what the future holds?

The celebration of the Anniversary of the release of Overwatch was enjoyed in glorious style with a dedicated event, a bunch of cool new skins and a double XP weekend. It also marked the end to the very first successful year of Blizzard’s first new IP in the longest of times!

But now the dust has settled on the festivities and we find ourselves asking: “Who knows what the future holds?”

Unlike many games that quickly lose their value and stock up the preowned shelves, the value of Overwatch has not dropped dramatically, and it has often been difficult to track down second hand. This is a farcry from the expected projection of most games which can expect to drop from £55-£60 in a year down to about the £10 mark (or BRINK, which rightly got down to about £5 in a couple of months… Stupid BRINK.)

Why is this? Blizzard! Blizzard operate slightly differently from many other game companies. They have previously stated numerous times that they have no intention of splitting their community betwixt the haves and the have-nots by locking vital DLC, such as new Maps and Characters, behind obtuse paywalls and requests of money. For myself, I am fully supportive of the essential DLC being free and would tout that choice as a fantastic business practise that other companies should strive to emulate. Less popular, however, is that the incredible aesthetics are locked behind a gambling style of delivery in the form of Lootboxes (while also being available using in game currency, but the currency is also earned through the gambling style of delivery). Microtransactions being built into a premium game has, from some, raised eyebrows, concerns and the desire to avoid purchasing any Lootboxes.

But in the nature of change, Blizzard have listened to feedback regarding the annoyance present when opening a new and shiny Lootbox and being confronted with nothing but duplicates, leaving those that have bought the Lootboxes feeling more than a little duped. But having listened to their fans and detractors, Blizzard have implemented a system to reduce the likelihood of receiving duplicate Lootboxes as well as a new experimental system seemingly being Trojan-Horsed in with a collaboration between Amazon Prime and Twitch to offer Legendary Lootboxes. It will be interesting to see how much these changes impact a person’s inclination to engage in the microtransactions on offer.

The very first event Blizzard released for Overwatch so very long ago was in time for the Rio 2016 Olympics. Since then, bar mayhap the Anniversary Event, most of us have all assumed that all Events have been a one-time Event situation. But recent data-mining has suggested that several very interesting developments (well, two interesting and one boring…) that have potentially been uncovered:

A 2017 Summer Games Event? I can hear a chorus complaining right now about recycling old events, and I’ll not say they are totally wrong, but there is an awesome potential that it seems Blizzard have set up the framework to capitalise on! The first event did not offer users the capacity to buy the individual items with their hard won currency, choosing rather to only allow you to unlock them in the Lootboxes, something that was changed with subsequent events. But this was a little too late, and a lot of people lamented, then and now, having an incomplete set of items for their character, myself included. I lack the incredible Switzerland skin for Mercy, and have never quite let it go… While hopes that during the Anniversary Event we would be able to buy items that were missed in the first year were dashed against the wall like a Targaryen prince, the idea of the events being repeated and improved upon gives hope to all users that we may be able to purchase, at a later date, that which we may have missed previously. Only hopes and dreams, mind you, but that’s more than I had previously.

A possibility that has undoubtedly piqued more than a few people’s interest is that of the chance of Lucioball returning. Lucioball was Overwatch’s first unique event; a different style of game that took our favourite DJing Support and put him on the centre-stage for a football inspired team event. Many loved it, leading to Jeff Kaplan stating that it may return. Furthermore, the recent data mining also suggests this as a possibility, not a certainty, but a distinct possibility. Much like the Summer Games Event itself, some may complain about recycling game elements, but I am happy to see the potential return of this unique mode.

As always, all we can ultimately do it sit back and wait and watch and play. What do you think? Is rehashing events a cheap way to repeat things without the a same level of development as new ideas and concepts, or are you happy to see them return? How happy are you that there may even be the slightest chance of getting items you have previously missed out on? How delighted are you that the likelihood of duplicates in the Lootboxes has been reduced?

Let us know in the Comments section below!

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