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Overwatch is ditching loot boxes ahead of sequel launch

Overwatch has been known to be one of the pioneers of loot boxes in the games industry. Now for the first time in its six-year history, Blizzard is officially stopping the sale of loot boxes in the game.

In a recent Overwatch blog update that was published on Tuesday, Blizzard said that the loot boxes sold during the Anniversary Remix Vol. 3 event will no longer be available after the event ends on August 30. Although standard loot boxes will be sold after the event is over, the company still urged players to buy the loot boxes one last time if they’re interested in getting the skins from past Anniversary and seasonal events.

“Earn and purchase Anniversary Loot Boxes throughout the event!” Blizzard said, “Each Loot Box has a chance to contain items from past Anniversary and seasonal events; don’t wait too long to snag those skins you’ve been eyeing for the past year, though — Loot Boxes will no longer be available for sale after the end of the Anniversary Remix Vol. 3 event on August 30. However, you will still be able to earn standard loot boxes after the end of the event.”

Game on!

Shoot for a new high score with six remixed Legendary skins.

Overwatch Anniversary Remix: Vol. 3 is NOW LIVE!

— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) August 10, 2022

The standard loot boxes will be available for a limited time as well. In June, Blizzard announced it is ditching loot boxes in Overwatch 2, which is set to launch on October 4. Instead, it will be using the Battle Pass system, allowing players to earn skins and other items they want via character progression after purchasing the pass. This means that any standard loot boxes that players are sleeping on in Overwatch will automatically open before the sequel comes out.

Studies have found a link between loot boxes and gambling, including a report from the U.K. government urging the games industry to regulate loot boxes themselves following a two-year investigation. Although some game companies implemented policies prohibiting players under 18 from purchasing loot boxes, Activision Blizzard is still putting them in other games, including the controversial Diablo Immortal. Despite it being free-to-play, this game has been banned in the Netherlands and Belgium due to loot box legislation.

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