Overwatch players in China can now buy in-game currency directly—but it doesn’t work exactly how you’d expect

This is Blizzard's answer to Chinese gambling laws.

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Overwatch players in China will be able to directly purchase in-game currency, bringing the game inline with Chinese gambling laws that went into effect earlier this year.

Players won’t be able to buy just any amount of currency, however. Overwatch players will be able to buy five in-game currency and two loot boxes for 12¥; 15 in-game currency and five loot boxes for 30¥; 30 in-game currency and 11 loot boxes for 60¥; 60 in-game currency and 24 loot boxes for 120¥; and 120 in-game currency and 50 loot boxes for 238¥.

These options will only be available for players in China—but players elsewhere aren’t really missing out. Available now on China’s Overwatch public test region, the new options appear to be a way to bypass Chinese regulations that forbid developer’s from selling chance-based loot boxes.

Instead, players are buying these tiny amounts of in-game currency, and Blizzard is “gifting” them free loot boxes in exchange.

In May, Blizzard revealed its loot box drop rates for players in China. A Chinese law, put into effect May 1, forced game developers to reveal drop rates for loot boxes. Out of the four items given out in a box boxes, every 5.5 loot boxes contains an epic item, while every 13.5 loot boxes contains a legendary item, Blizzard said. At least one item is guaranteed to be or rare or higher quality as well.

China is the first country to legislate the sale of loot boxes, and it’s unclear whether the loot box drop rates are applicable worldwide. It seems unlikely, however, that Blizzard will implement the same in-game currency purchasing system worldwide.