Blizzard Entertainment will sell Overwatch’s in-game currency outright to players in China, thanks to the country’s new online gambling laws. Players can buy up to 120 credits with real life cash, which come with some loot boxes for their trouble.
The option to buy credits will go live with Overwatch version 1.12, according to a translation of a post on Blizzard’s Chinese forum. Credits will be available in groups of 5, 15, 30, 60 and 120, with prices ranging from about $1.75 for the smallest amount and $35 for the largest. The 120-credit tier also comes with 50 additional loot boxes, which could likely further supplement players’ credit supply.
This only applies to the Chinese version of Overwatch. The country introduced restrictions that require game developers to be more transparent about what players should expect from microtransactions, like Overwatch’s random item-bearing loot boxes. The rules are defined by the country’s Ministry of Culture, as a means of regulating games for legally questionable content. That includes gambling, which loot boxes can fall under.
Blizzard first complied early last month by releasing loot boxes’ drop rates. These only apply for the Chinese market, of course, but the breakdown is still an interesting look into the loot box process.
Buying credits to use for skins, sprays and other items is a way to get around loot boxes’ low probability rates. It will take quite a bit of cash for Chinese players to buy that legendary skin they want, though: Those cost 3,000 credits, so someone wanting to just buy the necessary credits is looking at an $875 ask.
Players in other regions will continue to have just one means of acquiring more credits for now. The currency is included as part of loot box drops, and it’s also given out in exchange for duplicate items.