Will Overwatch 2 have loot boxes?

Will the controversial system make its return?

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Overwatch 2 is an upcoming first-person shooter game developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment and is the sequel to the highly acclaimed Overwatch. The game features some welcome changes such as revamps to its PvP system by reducing team sizes to five while also adding new co-op features. 

Overwatch 2 is set to launch as a free-to-play title on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Nintendo Switch. There will be cross-platform play and it will enter an early access phase on Oct. 4, 2022. 

The game also had a closed beta phase in April and May 2022, where players got to try the game and asked the developers if the game will have a loot box system. But what is the loot box system?

Loot box system

The loot box system is a functional concept that exists in most games with online multiplayer aspects. It is a form of monetization where players purchase these loot boxes and open them to receive certain power-up items or cosmetics. Although this system has worked favorably for developers over the last decade, the system has always been a controversial one for players everywhere.

This stems from the fact that loot box rewards are entirely random drop chance items. There is no guarantee that players purchasing a lot of loot boxes will get the item they desire. Some games take it a step further by having such abysmal drop rates for their rarest items that some players end up spending obscene amounts of money to get the item they want. This has sparked outrage from long-time gamers everywhere who are now demanding for the loot box system to shut down.

So how does it work in Overwatch 2?

Overwatch 2 loot boxes

Thankfully, Overwatch 2 has taken the fan-friendly approach and scrapped the loot box system entirely. This is in addition to the game going from a retail title like its predecessor to a free-to-play game. Even though loot boxes are rampant in most free-to-play games, Blizzard has a different way of approaching monetization in Overwatch 2.

The developers have decided to take a seasonal pass system approach to the game by introducing a battle pass. This is something that games in the past like Dota 2 and VALORANT have done. The battle pass will include separate rewards for subscribers and will rotate seasonally. 

With Blizzard taking a lot of flak with the way Diablo Immortal’s cash shop system functioned, this approach seems to be the way to go. Especially with Blizzard’s new policy where the devs have decided to end the loot box system entirely, starting on Aug. 30, 2022. Only time will tell if this approach will be successful but it feels like a step in the right direction.