Blizzard announces Summer Games and Seasonal Events for Overwatch!
The Summer Games have arrived! Well, at least in the world of Overwatch.
Yesterday, August 2nd, Blizzard released a "Developer Update" video outlining their newest update to their popular FPS Overwatch. In the spirit of the upcoming 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Blizzard has decided to release the first of hopefully many more "Seasonal Events" -- fittingly called the Summer Games.
The Summer Games update is free and includes new character skins, voice lines, emotes, sprays, player icons, victory poses, and highlight intros for the 22 playable heroes in Overwatch.
Just like the previous vanity items, you'll earn the Summer Games items via the in-game Loot Boxes you get when you level up, or you can choose to purchase them for real currency. Every Summer Games Loot Box contains at least 1 Summer Games item. The only catch is that you cannot purchase these items with in-game currency the way you can other cosmetic items -- they can only be earned through Summer Games Loot Boxes.
As Jeff Kaplan, Game Director for Overwatch, explains in the video that the items are intended to feel rare and special. It's meant to be a lighthearted event that players can look back on fondly and look forward to the next seasonal event, or return of a Summer Games event.
In addition to the Summer Games themed loot that players will be earning, Blizzard has implemented a temporary new "Weekly Brawl" called Lucioball. The game mode is named after Overwatch's Brazilian hero Lucio and features a quick, 3v3 soccer-like experience quite similar to Rocket League, where players use Lucio's abilities to move around the arena and try to score in the opposing team's net.
If the event is successful and players enjoy themselves then Blizzard plans to release more Seasonal Events in the future. I can already picture the creepy or festive skins and cosmetics they might cook up for the Fall and Winter seasons -- like a Santa-themed Roadhog with a candy cane hook.
The event runs from August 2 - August 22 and you get your very first Summer Games themed Loot Box just for logging in.