Answers about Overwatch's DLC only raises more questions about monetization
I think it's safe to say everyone thought Overwatch was going to be free-to-play. With its huge cast of 21 heroes, it was easy to imagine Blizzard designing more heroes for the game as it grew in popularity.
When it was announced that Overwatch would have a sticker price (three, actually), rumors naturally started in the confusion. Some of the chatter was that Blizzard was going to charge a premium for the game and then force players to pay for extra heroes. Game Director Jeff Kaplan told PC Gamer "that just couldn't be further from the truth."
We're not sure if and when and how we're going to add new heroes to the game at all. . . There was also a misconception that we would be selling maps, and we've never had any intention of selling maps.
That puts that question to bed, right? Players will just have to pay for the sticker price and not worry about future transactions? Not according to designer Scott Mercer. In an interview with Kotaku, he says that the future of the game's DLC hasn't been decided yet.
Right now we’re focusing on the 21 launch heroes. Exactly what happens in the future with regards to heroes, we’re not quite sure. We are gonna support the game, but how that happens and how it’s monetized is still up in the air. There are a lot of questions we have to ask ourselves first.
So, we know the state of the game at launch, but we don't actually know for sure what the future of the game's development will be.
While it's a little scary that the team isn't thinking about monetization at this point, they do stand pretty solid on the gameplay. Focusing on a static number of heroes means that everything is going to be balanced for all players right out the door.
But in spite of the gameplay, online games need a solid infrastructure to survive. In a market that increasingly relies on microtransactions and DLC, we'll just have to wait and see if the game is good enough to survive on sticker price alone.
Image source: us.battle.net