If we know one thing about Blizzard, it’s that they’re in it for the long-haul. So since they announced Overwatch, we’ve been pushing for details on a ten-year plan. What does Jeff Kaplan mean when he says his future Earth could “support a World of Warcraft someday”? Yes, Overwatch heroes and maps are free, but what if there’s an expansion or sequel?
Turns out Kaplan’s team haven’t thought quite so far ahead. With their eyes on launch, the future monetisation of Overwatch is a question yet to be answered.
Could Overwatch loom large on our list of the best first-person shooters?
Kaplan reassured Blizzard fans last week that all Overwatch heroes and maps will come as free updates, not paid DLC. But the game’s director hasn’t ruled out eventual payment options beyond Overwatch’s box price.
“Right now, our biggest concern with Overwatch isn’t about how many ways in which we can monetise people, but it’s more along the lines of making sure that the game is really fun and that we get a really big audience that enjoys playing the game with each other,” Kaplan told Eurogamer. “From there, it’s easier to figure out what to do.”
By late January or early February, Kaplan expects to have player progression and customisation in a clearer state. Only then will Blizzard start to think about possible monetisation.
“[It’s] something that we’d be open to, as long as it’s something that felt really fair to players and that we weren’t ruining the gameplay or discrediting their purchase of the game in the first place,” he said. “That’s something we really respect and value. It needs to feel fair.”
It’s all very nebulous for the time being. Can you imagine spending as much on Overwatch as some have on Hearthstone?