Overwatch is not going to be free-to-play

Many folk expected Blizzard’s upcoming team shooter Overwatch to be a free-to-play title. These folk were wrong.

As well as revealing the game will be coming to PS4 and Xbox One as well as PC, the developer has also confirmed that the Standard Edition of the game on PC will cost $39.99. The Overwatch: Origins Edition, meanwhile, will cost $59.99 on PS4, Xbox One and PC while the Limited Collector’s Edition, available only at retail, costs $129.99.

All maps, characters and content will be included with the game, which is described by Blizzard as a great base version” that new content will be developed for as and when a need is perceived to arise.

Cross-platform play, however, has been ruled out as the fear is that twitchy mouse and keyboard PC gamers would have an advantage.

When asked by Kotaku why Blizzard has chosen to buck the trend for free-to-play eSports titles in favour of following the premium route, principle designer Scott Mercer said that it was a decision necessitated by the number of heroes – although of course this hasn’t stopped multi-character MOBA’s avoiding upfront charges.

As we continued to work on it and add more heroes to it, hero-switching became a really key component,” he said. To really provide for a breadth of heroes to allow for that switching – to let people look at the other team and say, ‘OK, let’s change our lineup a little bit’ – became core to Overwatch. To support that, we need to have our 21 heroes [for everyone].

Not just, like, one tank, one support, one ranged character or something. You’ve got multiple different tanks and whatnot. We want people to have enough options that they feel like they’re not at a super huge disadvantage.”

Despite the price, Mercer would not rule out microtransactions or DLC later down the line.

We’ll see. Right now we’re focusing on the 21 launch heroes. Exactly what happens in the future with regards to heroes, we’re not quite sure,” he claimed. We are gonna support the game, but how that happens and how it’s monetized is still up in the air. There are a lot of questions we have to ask ourselves first.”

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