Overwatch is objectively a really good game. In the year since its release it’s ballooned to millions of players very quickly, all with using a Buy-to-play business model rather than subscription. Of course, many players have already bought the game and while they’re definitely still enticing new players, Blizzard needs a way to continue to make profit from their current player base in order to support further development. Enter loot boxes.
All heroes and content is available for free with the purchase of Overwatch, but the draw of cosmetic upgrades is strong and games have seen a lot of success in the past by using skins and the like as a way to make profit. Players are rewarded with loot boxes, albeit slowly, just by playing the game, but they can also purchase them with real money for more chances at their favorite skins.
Overwatch is available in many countries around the world, and each country has its own rules and regulations – some of them affecting video games. The Chinese market is a big source of profit for Blizzard, so when the government required the company to list the odds of obtaining each item from a loot box in an effort to fight compulsive gambling, Blizzard begrudgingly obliged. Below are the drop rates for each different “quality” of item:
Every box contains at least one rare (blue) item.
Players get an epic (purple) item once every 5.5 boxes.
Legendary items appear once every 13.5 boxes.
These drop rates don’t seem that abysmal, though maybe I’m just unlucky as it seems I almost never get legendary items. It isn’t clear whether these drop rates are the same in all regions or just specific to China, and Blizzard has been hush-hush on the matter as they’re not required to disclose the information outside of China. However, I think it’s fair to suggest that the drop rates in loot boxes are similar in the West, too.
Are you guys surprised about these drop rates? Are they higher or lower than you expected? Blizzard obviously has to make money somehow, so making the drop rates too high wouldn’t make sense. Are the way loot boxes set up currently, fair? Sound off in the comments below!