In a recent interview with Eurogamer, game director for Overwatch, Jeff Kaplan, talked more about microtransactions for Overwatch.
Meaning they are still considering them. With the pricing for the game being $39.99 and $59.99 USD respectively, the news of microtransaction possibility is most likely upsetting for most fans.
While the interviews most notable discussion regards microtransactions, Jeff Kaplan still had a lot to share development wise. “One of the things that we’ve seen a lot of requests for from the playerbase is some sort of progression system. They love the moment-to-moment gameplay, but they want to see something for their time investment in the game.”
Another change being made to the beta (which is currently offline until early 2016) has to do with animations. “On the smaller, tactical side, one thing that was annoying some players was when you reloaded with some of the guns for some of the heroes, the animation didn’t line up exactly with the timing of the reload. You could also interrupt your reload with a quick melee or an ability and you’d be forced to go through the reload all over again. ”
Jeff Kaplan did explain that the progression system will not be the main goal in the game. “We don’t want the progression system to be burdensome in the fact that it’s telling you what to do or how to play. It probably won’t be the thing that makes you decide what hero to play – in fact, we would look at that as a mistake. We also won’t reward you, in any way, with player power or anything like that. You’re not going to get better guns, or have more hit points, or become more powerful.” The progression system will be relying on cosmetic rewards more then anything.
In regards to the microtransaction confusion at Blizzcon, Jeff Kaplan addressed it with a very real answer: the team just wasn’t prepared. “And we were really not expecting [to be asked] what’s going to happen after the game is launched. It takes so much work to ship a game. So there we are at Blizzcon and people were just hammering us and you kind of realise that wow, there’s a lot of distrust out in the community, because I think a lot of players have felt like they’ve been burned in the past.”
Later on, however, Jeff Kaplan did state that Overwatch hasn’t been locked in as a no microtransaction game. “We haven’t locked in exactly whether there’ll be additional monetisation after launch or not. Some of that is because we want to watch the launch itself and see how successful that is, and see what sort of playerbase we end up with and see how engaged they are.” He later recalled how Mike Morhaime always quotes the movie Field of Dreams. “it’s about a guy who builds a baseball diamond in a cornfield and everyone is like why are you doing that, or whatever. And the famous quote is: “If you build it, they will come.””
All in all, Overwatch is still in its beginning phases. The Overwatch team, not even Jeff Kaplan, can make a promise for the long term future. “They’re so concerned about the long, long term future, but it’s really hard to know. If there was a sequel or an expansion, that would be its own thing that we’d figure out at that time. We don’t have everything figured out at this stage. But we do know that for Overwatch 1, we want to do heroes and maps as free content updates when we patch them in. We don’t know exactly what we’re doing with the progression system and customisation at this point, but we have some really strong ideas.”