Opinion: Microtransactions destroy player morale


Michael Carrillo

In-game purchase screen for coins in “Overwatch 2.” In the top right is the amount of coins I have made after playing nearly every day for a month. “Overwatch 2” uses a free price tag for the update of the original game as an excuse to charge outrageous prices for skins.

Recently, “Overwatch 2” launched and is now labeled “free to play.” Now by that fault, they have made everything originally unlockable by playing into a massive paywall or unreasonable amounts of hours doing challenges to get enough from just playing. 

In game purchases involving currency to buy something else and not with money outright is scummy yet smart. It works and makes unbelievable amounts of money, yet I do not agree with it. 

It is unfair to new players especially giving them no way to unlock new content except with a paywall, and unfair to old players making it painfully obvious that reused assets and content now have an expensive price tag on them. 

“Overwatch 2” is basically an update to the original rather than an entirely new game. Eurogamer’s Edwin Evans-Thirlwell called this recent release “Overwatch 2.0” and a “Rejig” of the original. 

Originally costing $60 when “Overwatch 1” came out in 2016, this one is free to play, yet it still costs $60 to get it in the first place. They have taken content from “Overwatch 1” and now put a price tag on it making a skin which was 1000 credits, a relatively easy feat to obtain in the old game, into a paywall of $20 per skin. 

Credits are obtainable through play in-game, but after nearly a month of play on the game I have only made it to 120/2000 required. 

That is exactly what a game does not want to happen.  ”

— Staff Writer Michael Carrillo

Soon after the release of “Overwatch 2,” many players were shocked at the incredible paywall behind all original content that has been reused and had a price tag put on it. One player did the math and came up with an unfathomable number of approximately $12,000 for the total price tag on reused content.

Players have found this rehaul to be a nice return to something they used to like, but to mix that with a boring progression system discourages players from playing. That is exactly what a game does not want to happen.  

Players are discouraged from playing in events due to the lack of unlocks and no new skins to work toward getting. The Halloween mode was something every player looked toward every year, yet this year nobody cares about it because all the new content is $20 or more to get. 

Many games are close if not worse than this excessive paywall for additional content. 

Unlike a game like “Fortnite,” $10 for a progression from play ‘battle pass’ where you can play with any skin you’d like, “Overwatch” is a character-based roster so cosmetics and unlockables are specific to this person. 

A battlepass for a game like this is so nonuniversal I cannot even see myself spending something small like $10 for so much since 90% of it is either meh, or for characters I, and many others, are not as keen on playing. 

As poor as the original system was for more content in the original game being a loot box system, it was better than paying for everything with real money. 

Blizzard needs to keep this game alive.”

— Staff Writer Michael Carrillo

Loot boxes were something you could get four to five of a day with four items per box. Blizzard needs to bring this back. It is much better than in-game purchases for a digital skin, especially when they are so expensive. 

Level up items could also be added because overall player level has been removed in a sense from the rehaul. This would be a way to get free stuff or even credits. 

With the current strategy, Blizzard will kill off this game. It is popular now because it is new, but the main thing that kept the old game going for the nearly seven-year span are the events, new skins, and other content you could obtain from playing them. Now they are only the low low price of $20-30. 

Blizzard needs to keep this game alive. It is fun, but if there is nothing to work for or toward, players, especially newer ones, will quickly find anything else to play over this soon enough.

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