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Blizzard will stop selling Overwatch loot boxes in August

Overwatch Anniversary Vol. 3 event will see the end of controversial monetization

Ashe and Bob in Mardi Gras-themed skins for Overwatch Image: Blizzard Entertainment
Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Overwatch’s latest Anniversary Remix event — the game’s third and final such event — kicks off Tuesday, giving seasoned fans of Blizzard’s hero shooter another batch of skins and a chance to revisit limited-time game modes. The Overwatch Anniversary Remix Vol. 3 event will also bring about the end of loot box sales in the game — Blizzard says that when the current event ends on Aug. 30, players will no longer be able to purchase loot boxes.

Players will still be able to earn standard loot boxes through gameplay after the end of the event.

Overwatch 2, which will launch in October as a free-to-play game, will do away with loot boxes entirely. And since Overwatch 2 will replace the original Overwatch when the sequel launches, that will mean the end of loot boxes altogether. Overwatch 2 will instead follow a seasonal model, with paid and free battle passes through which players can earn cosmetics. Blizzard will also sell cosmetic items piecemeal, but content like heroes and maps will continue to be free.

Loot boxes in Overwatch and other games have been controversial, and some countries have outright banned the sale of random goods like loot boxes in games. They’ve also been a hotly contested feature with players, who sometimes balk at the amount of money that would be required to unlock everything through random chance.

Overwatch Anniversary Remix Vol. 3 runs in the original Overwatch from Aug. 9 to Aug. 30. Players will be able to compete in pre-existing Arcade brawls and earn remixed cosmetics through weekly challenges and in loot boxes.

Below, you’ll find the schedule of Overwatch Anniversary Remix Vol. 3’s rollout of events, direct from Blizzard.

Overwatch Archives

Relive Past Missions

Overwatch Archives Missions will be available to play in the Arcade on August 9, 16, 23, and 30.

  • Uprising (Story)
    Journey seven years into the past and join an Overwatch strike team fighting through the streets of King’s Row to quell an uprising led by Null Sector. Team up with your friends and play as Tracer, Torbjörn, Reinhardt, or Mercy to defeat the robots and liberate the city.
  • Uprising (All Heroes)
    Bring a hero of your choice into the fray with All Heroes Mode to take on Null Sector and save King’s Row. Failure is not an option. The future depends on you.
  • Retribution (Story)
    Travel eight years into the past and join Blackwatch as they seek to capture one of Talon’s highest-ranking members and team up with your friends to take down enemies as Cassidy, Moira, Genji, and Reyes (later known as Reaper).
  • Retribution (All Heroes)
    Bring a hero of your choice into the fray with All Heroes Mode and fight your way through Talon forces on the streets of Rialto.
  • Storm Rising (Story)
    As thunderclouds gather, four Overwatch operatives pursue the devious entrepreneur Maximilien through the streets of Havana. Team up with your friends and play as Tracer, Genji, Winston, or Mercy to capture one of Talon’s key operatives.
  • Storm Rising (All Heroes)
    Bring a hero of your choice into the fray with All Heroes Mode to eliminate Talon agents and hunt down Maximilien.

Overwatch Archives Challenge Missions

New Threats Loom on the Horizon

Overwatch Archives Challenge Missions will be available to play in the Arcade on August 10, 17, and 24.

  • Molten Cores
    (Uprising) Enemies drop lava upon death.
  • Glass Cannon
    (Uprising) Players have reduced health and deal increased damage.
  • Surgical Strike
    (Retribution) Only critical hits do damage.
  • Close Quarters
    (Retribution) Enemies can only be killed if a player is nearby.
  • Blood Moon Rising
    (Storm Rising) No support heroes. Heal yourself by doing damage.
  • Storm Raging
    (Storm Rising) Some enemies are enraged. Killing them spreads the rage.

Summer Games

Kick It Back, Summer-Style

Summer Games brawls will be available to play in the Arcade on August 11, 18, and 25.

  • Lúcioball
    Lúcioball, Overwatch’s futuristic spin on soccer, is back! Team up to book the ball into the opponent’s goal. The team that scores the most points before time runs out wins the game
  • Lúcioball Remix
    We’re kicking a curveball your way with Lúcioball Remix! In this faster, more chaotic version of Lúcioball, two balls are in play the entire time and bonus balls worth extra points will periodically spawn around the arena. Be quick on your feet and net more goals than your opponents to win!

Halloween Terror

Get Ready to Get Scared

Halloween Terror brawls will be available to play in the Arcade on August 12, 19, and 26.

  • Junkenstein’s Revenge
    Team up with three other players to defend Adlersbrunn from a host of haunting horrors, including Junkenstein and his Monster, the mysterious Summoner, the bloodthirsty Reaper, and the devious Witch of the Wilds.
  • Junkenstein Endless
    Hold your ground with your compatriots as an unending slew of monstrosities lays siege to Adlersbrunn. How long will you last before you succumb to the horrors of Junkenstein?

Halloween Terror Challenge Missions

Halloween Terror Challenge Mission brawls will be available to play in the Arcade on August 13, 20, and 27.

Test your mettle with a spin on Junkenstein’s Revenge: Challenge Missions.

  • Vengeful Ghost
    A deadly ghost chases players.
  • Frenzied Stampede
    Zomnics move faster.
  • Volatile Zomnics
    Zomnics explode near players.
  • Three They Were
    Only three players, but they deal more damage.
  • Mystery Swap
    Heroes periodically randomize.
  • Shocking Surprise
    Some enemies spawn Shock-Tires on death.

Winter Wonderland

Winter Is Snow Much Fun!

Winter Wonderland brawls will be available to play in the Arcade on August 14, 21, and 28.

  • Freezethaw Elimination
    Get ready to freeze your foes in this 4v4 brawl! Instead of dying, players will be frozen solid in blocks of ice that their teammates can thaw. Freeze everyone on the enemy team to secure a win, but watch out—a defrosted foe might turn the tables and put you on ice instead.
  • Mei’s Snowball Offensive
    Team up to ice over your enemies! In this 6v6 brawl, everyone plays as Mei, and her endothermic blaster has been modified to fire a single, super-powered snowball. Taking down an enemy only requires one hit, but a miss can be costly!
  • Snowball Deathmatch
    In this 8-person free-for-all brawl, players can store up to three lethal snowballs in Mei’s blaster, giving them multiple chances to ice the competition before having to reload.
  • Yeti Hunter
    This 6-player brawl sets five Meis against one Yeti who uses Winston’s abilities. The Yeti must survive long enough to eliminate enemy Meis before they take him down. Which side will emerge from the snowstorm victorious?

Lunar New Year

Ring in the Festivities

Lunar New Year brawls will be available to play in the Arcade on August 15, 22, and 29.

  • Capture the Flag
    In Capture the Flag, each team attempts to secure the enemy flag and return it to their base while preventing the opposing team from doing the same. Determined players can try Competitive Capture the Flag, which includes placement matches, leaderboards, and Competitive Points!
  • Capture the Flag Blitz
    With both teams’ flags much closer together, six captures are now needed to win the match instead of the traditional three. Launch an all-out offensive against the enemy to snatch their flag as many times as possible.
  • Bounty Hunter
    Rack up points as you claim bounties in this rowdy brawl. The player who gets the first kill of the match becomes a Target, and everyone else a Bounty Hunter. Earn extra points by killing the Target, but beware—if you land the killing blow on a Target, you become the next one.

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