In a recent interview with Game Informer, vice president of Overwatch, Jon Spector, declared his interest in the concept of including crossover characters into the game.
With Overwatch 2 releasing in less than a week, could this be a subtle hint from the developers on their plans for the upcoming title?
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Potential Overwatch Cross-overs
For the past few years, the trend for online games has been to incorporate celebrities and famous characters from pop culture into their roster. Games like Fortnite, Fall Guys, and Call of Duty: Warzone have been using this strategy to great effect. These announcements often lead to plenty of buzz, both in-game and on social media, surrounding the inclusion of the newest playable character. Whilst seeing the likes of Marshmello, John Cena, and Ariana Grande feature in a game that involves eliminating people fighting for survival is rather odd, it’s hard to argue with the results.
It appears that the development team at Blizzard have been paying close attention to the success of these crossovers. Spector mentioned the appearance of Naruto in Fortnite as a particular point that inspired him and the team to look at character collaborations for the Overwatch franchise. He also stated that shifting the focus towards this method has caused them to think less about in-game advertisements, which is sure to please fans of the franchise.
Cameos In Overwatch 2 Battle Pass?
The idea of celebrities or characters from other popular franchises may surprise long time Overwatch fans, this change would be another item on the long list of changes in strategy for the sequel. Overwatch is well-known for creating characters that are unique to the franchise, so seeing how they would adjust to include already established characters would be interesting to see.
Blizzard’s new game is bringing lots of changes in comparison to the structure of the original. One of the main changes is the addition of a two-tier battle pass, which includes a free and premium system. As Overwatch 2 is going free-to-play, the premium battle pass appears to be the main monetisation method for the upcoming sequel.
An easy way to bolster in-game purchases would be to include familiar faces. Having celebrity crossovers exclusive to the battle pass would be a smart way of encouraging members to play more games in order to unlock these special rewards. Obviously for us gamers, it would be better if this was free, but that is very rarely the case with this sort of approach.
The more likely way that these special characters will be integrated into the game is through limited time deals on the in-game store. This is the preferred strategy of other titles like Fortnite. Alternatively, special events could be implemented alongside the release of the playable characters, allowing players the chance to unlock them for free.
No matter what method is chosen, a future announcement of a celebrity of pop culture icon is likely to divide opinions within the Overwatch community. The changes made to the new title have already received a mixed reception from fans, with many unsure of the new strategies.
However, if Jon Spector and the rest of the Overwatch team’s desires do come true, they wouldn’t be the first to adopt the celebrity endorsement route.