Apart from maybe the occasional mention on the F2P cast, it seems we won’t be talking much more about Overwatch on this site — for a while, at least.
At BlizzCon, Blizzard confirmed the business model for Overwatch would most definitely not be free-to-play. You can pre-purchase the game now, either in a base variety for PC at $39.99, the Origins Edition for $59.99, or the Collector’s Edition, which comes with a Soldier: 76 statue, available from Best Buy, Amazon, or Gamestop for $129.99.
It’s a curious move, given Blizzard’s recent successful foray into free-to-play with Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm. There are also a lot of titles with similar gameplay coming out soon that will be free-to-play, like Gigantic, LawBreakers, Paladins, and more. Granted, this is Blizzard, and the marketing push has been extreme, so it’s not like Overwatch will have trouble getting an audience, but one of those other games could find a hole to exploit that lets it grab a significant portion of the market share.
If we had to guess, we’d think that the game will be B2P now, with a F2P switch coming in a year or two, after sales have slowed down. Business-wise, it’s not a terrible idea, getting early cash now and then cashing in on a wider population later, and it still might beat those other games to market. Still, it’s a little sad to think that we won’t be able to cover Overwatch here any more or play it when it comes out without ponying up the cash. It seemed perfectly suited for free-to-play, but apparently Blizzard doesn’t agree.