With the wake of the new year, analysts started making expectations for the video game industry as well. Although it’s still early to know what plans big publishers and developers have, experts can expect certain moves. Analyst Michael Patcher expects Activision to make some bold moves this year. In fact, he predicts that the publisher will make Black Ops 4 Blackout and Overwatch free to play. Even more interesting, he expects that to happen before the end of 2019.
Can that happen? Both games have a big interest in e-sports. That means that the free-to-play model will make them easier to bring more people on them. Overwatch already has a robust playerbase, while Blackout is starting to flourish only a couple of months after its release. Matcher believes that this practice will bring millions of players to both games. A mid-June release window is what he seems the most logical. He said:
Activision will make Overwatch and Blackout free-to-play. I think that the 18 Overwatch League owners have been assured by Blizzard that it will expand the audience for Overwatch. The most expedient way to do this is to make the core game free-to-play in order to attract tens of millions of new users, who ostensibly will convert to OWL viewers. I expect this by mid-June (the third anniversary of the launch of the original game. Disgruntled players who bought the core game will likely be compensated by being given free stuff (skins or other cosmetic items). Blackout will go FTP at least a month prior to the launch of next year’s Call of Duty, in order to promote the new game.
As you can see, he expects all owners of the games to be getting free loot like skins and such. It’s only logical to expect more microtransactions coming to both Overwatch and Blackout. We’d even welcome those changes as this will mean a new era for them.
Note Activision is quiet about the matter for now. If they are to confirm such an action, we shall see over the course of the year. What do you think though? Shall the publisher make Overwatch and Blackout free-to-play? We’d like to know your opinion on Twitter and our forum, so head there now and let us know what you think.