Cosmetic items available in Overwatch’s new Summer Games loot boxes aren’t available for purchase using in-game credits. That’s not likely to change, according to director Jeff Kaplan, who responded to players’ complaints about the microtransactions today following the event’s launch.
"We wanted the seasonal loot boxes to feel more rare and special and the items within them to feel more rare and special," Kaplan explained in a developer update video about the Summer Games event uploaded yesterday. "For that reason they’ll only be available for the next few weeks and you won’t be able to buy them for credits either."
That’s unlike skins, player icons, victory poses and other items that players can find in normal loot boxes. These can be unlocked by using Overwatch’s in-game currency, credits, as well as through playing the game or purchasing loot boxes through the store.
"We don't want everybody running around all the time in every single Summer Games item"
The Summer Games are meant to be a unique experience, though, Kaplan explained. For him, a major part of Overwatch’s first seasonal event is ensuring that its spoils remain in high demand, if not supply.
"We want these items to feel extra special and very rare, so we don’t want everybody running around all the time in every single Summer Games item," he said. "And we actually don’t expect that all players will get every Summer Games item."
If all goes according to plan, the Summer Games and their coveted costumer will return next year, he wrote in a post on Battle.net.
"If the event is received well (my impression so far is that it is being received well once you remove the debate over the items not being available for credits), we will run it again next year," according to Kaplan. "Our Summer Games are on a yearly schedule — not a [four-year] schedule. Our plan would be to have the items available again when the event recurs."
Overwatch players lamenting that they can't spend credits on Summer Games items can still enjoy the event's other features, like the limited-time, soccer-style game mode Lucíoball. Kaplan also pointed out a new playable character who was made available to everyone for free just last month: Ana, the maternal sniper who’s already won the fanbase over.
"We'd like to give the event more time and see how people feel as it wraps up," he concluded. "Maybe people will be feeling differently at the end of the [event.] Maybe not. If we need to make things less rare — if everyone is entitled to that Genji Epic Skin — we'll have to reconsider our design philosophy in the future."