Overwatch to Release Future Heroes and Maps for Free
Just one month ago, Blizzard was causing concern at BlizzCon when they announced that they hadn’t finalized what the business plan would be for Overwatch with only seven months to go until release. Prior to BlizzCon, the only thing that was officially announced was that the game would be available for purchase at either $40 or $60 for the Origins Edition.
In a community update video, game director Jeff Kaplan talked about what Blizzard’s plan was for future hero additions to Overwatch. In the best piece of news to come out about the game, Kaplan announced that new heroes would be patched into the game for free.
Kaplan told viewers of a video on the official Overwatch YouTube channel that new heroes and maps will be added to the game post-launch through patches for free rather than as DLC. He also noted that there isn’t a timeline for when new heroes would be added to the game but that the team is already working on them. Apparently, there are Easter eggs hidden in the current maps that will help you figure out the next heroes.
This is basically the best case scenario for gamers. Too often, we’ve seen multiplayer shooters have their player bases fragmented based on when you bought the game and how much DLC you own. I bought Titanfall with DLC for like $20 last year. Almost no one was in the DLC maps. I wonder how many people are running the DLC characters in Evolve and dominating. This keeps the player base together and gives a reason for people to keep coming back so there is a player base when you boot up.
So what that does leave unexplored is the possibility of other microtransactions in the game. While the game has a $40 entry price that will cover a fair chunk of the costs, Blizzard will still have to pay to keep servers live. While they have a very similar business model with StarCraft II and Diablo III, there is more opportunity for other revenue streams from Overwatch than just buying the base game. For example, many pundits believe that character skins would be a viable addition to Overwatch. I know I’ve spent way too much on skins for characters that I like in HOTS. I don’t see how a MOBA/shooter hybrid like Overwatch couldn’t benefit financially from the same.
Here is the developer update video in case you want to watch that:
Overwatch will launch on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on or before June 21, 2016.