Blizzard’s hugely popular hero shooter may not be as much of a dominant force within the genre as it was maybe one or two years ago, though it continues to be a top earner for the mega publisher.
According to the latest report from video game market research firm SuperData, Overwatch has surpassed the $1 billion milestone for in-game spending.
The June report goes on to state that Overwatch is the 64th game on either console, PC, or mobile to hit this monumental figures. It’s also the sixth Activision Blizzard IP to achieve this after World of Warcraft, Candy Crush, Hearthstone, Call of Duty, and Destiny.
“In-game spending” relates to purchases beyond the initial price of the game, so what have players been splashing that $1 billion on?
Overwatch does not – and has never – offered purchasable downloadable content. At least not in the traditional sense. All characters and maps added to the game have all come at no cost to players.
Additionally, Overwatch doesn’t have the same “battle pass” model of monetisation we’ve seen in many online games such as Dota 2, Fortnite, Dauntless, and Call of Duty: Black Ops III.
Instead, Activision Blizzard gets that additional revenue from the direct purchasing of loot boxes that contain skins, sprays, and other cosmetic items of varying rarities. 2 Overwatch loot boxes will set you back £1.79 with the 50 loot box bundle priced at £34.99 (current PlayStation Store prices).
After its initial launch in May 2016 and the growth of its esports scene, Overwatch has started to sell League Tokens which can be used to buy specific character skins, representing partaking teams.
In other Overwatch news, the game recently unveiled its 31st playable hero, Sigma, who is now playable on the game’s PTR.
In-game monetisation, microtransactions, and user spending seems to be an evergreen topic within the industry. Only yesterday, the UK Gambling Commission waded in once again, stating that loot boxes are not a form of gambling.