Overwatch will cease selling loot boxes this month.
Valve is to be credited for the introduction of paid loot boxes into PC gaming. However, the trend toward loot boxes didn’t take off until Overwatch made opening boxes fun, cool and often free in 2016. Despite being one of the most popular games, Overwatch is no longer pushing loot boxes six years later. Blizzard will stop selling loot boxes in Overwatch 1 this month to prepare for Overwatch 2’s eventual end.
Blizzard will be ending loot boxes in the third chapter of its Anniversary Remix Event that begins today. A few legendary skins recolour available during the three-week promotion, which is based on old favourites. Some are earned by playing, while others must be purchased with in-game coins and earned via loot boxes. Players can still buy loot boxes to increase their chances of winning loot boxes from the game. However, Blizzard will end all sales of loot containers on August 30.
Players will still be able to earn loot boxes through normal methods (levelling up and playing Arcade) throughout September. All stashed loot will be automatically opened when Overwatch 2 is released on October 4. Overwatch 2 will now have seasonal battle passes.
For most people, the loot box era is over, but for Overwatch players, it feels like a new chapter in gaming is closing. It was strange that every major-budget game thought it was a good idea for digital goodies to be locked behind small in-game casinos for a few years. Many loot box integrations were so hated that publishers were forced to fix them in their games. Overwatch was seen as an example of how to do loot boxes correctly.
However, times have changed, and players are more comfortable trading battle passes to make money. You can play enough Warzone in the month to earn the skin you care about. Perhaps not. But the publisher still gets its money.
However, the door to making a profit is always open. Dota 2 and CS:GO continue to sell premium keyed boxes as they have always done, and gacha games are more accepted in the West. Perhaps we are due for another loot-box backlash in a few more years.