From now until January 3rd, Overwatch 2 players can get a pretty sweet (heh) Gingerbread Bastion skin for the low, low, low price of one Overwatch coin. While the skin is yet another example of the Overwatch design team really nailing it, players might find themselves balking at the price. Not because it’s so cheap but because the offer seems like a poke in the eye, given the ongoing conversation regarding the game’s new monetization system.
Before Overwatch 2 took the game free to play, players had the opportunity to win new skins via loot box. And, if luck wasn’t on their side, loot boxes also spat out fair chunks of premium currency that players could use to purchase a skin outright. In Overwatch 2’s new monetization scheme, players feel like they’re pretty much forced to spend money as loot boxes are gone, and the premium currency is earned by completing time-consuming weekly challenges that max out at 60 coins a week.
With some back-of-the-hand math, that means to earn the Star Sheep Orisa bundle, currently available in the shop at 1,900 Overwatch coins, you’d need to play over 31 weeks — more than half a year — to grind that much dosh. Considering that the shop rotates its stock, a new player enticed by the criminally cute skin would have no choice but to pony up (heh again) real money in order to own it.
This new seemingly coercive monetization strategy is a major pain point for players, so much so that folks are yearning for a return of the good ole days of loot boxes. Blizzard has apparently heard these complaints and recently shared that it would tweak some things in the battle pass, like lowering the level at which free players unlock the new hero and adding more skins to unlock. The new Bastion offer seems like another attempt to address player concerns, and hopefully, we’ll see a more balanced approach to skins and their pricing in season three.