Overwatch Loot Boxes Undergo Changes in China, Can No Longer Be Purchased Directly
In May, a new regulation passed by Chinese authorities forced Blizzard to publicize the rarity odds of items gained through loot boxes in Overwatch. The ruling also instructed video game companies to adhere to new business practices. In that light, Blizzard has now announced fundamental changes to how loot boxes will work in Overwatch.
The option to purchase loot boxes directly from the in-game store with real-world currency has been removed, something that has been termed as illegal in the country. Instead, players will now have to purchase in-game currency before receiving loot boxes that amount to the money spent.
According to the developer, the new rules will go live in China with Patch 1.12. Keep in mind that the regulation is for only the specific country. Hence, the loot boxes will unlikely be changed for other regions.
The following are the new values revealed by the publisher on the official website:
- 5 credits, and a free gift of 2 Loot Boxes – ¥12 ($1.76)
- 15 credits, and a free gift of 5 Loot Boxes – ¥30 ($4.41)
- 30 credits, and a free gift of 11 Loot Boxes – ¥60 ($8.82)
- 60 credits, and a free gift of 24 Loot Boxes – ¥120 ($17.74)
- 120 credits, and a free gift of 50 Loot Boxes – ¥238 ($34.99)
The changes are for only the store and players will still be able to earn loot boxes through the traditional means of leveling up. China has only regulated the flow of microtransactions as gambling laws prohibit the direct sale of items.
Besides Overwatch, Blizzard has also revealed the Hearthstone rarity odds for getting specific cards from card packs. In addition, Valve has done the same for its Dota 2 chests and Riot Games for the League of Legends Hextech Crafting system. The developer of Crossfire has also adhered to the Chinese regulation by releasing its rarity odds.