Overwatch And HotS, Thoughts

The Blizzard team has decided to once again incentivize us to play Heroes of the Storm by utilizing the power of Overwatch. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Nexus 2.0 event, starting April 24th and lasting until May 22nd you can download Heroes of the Storm and complete certain challenges to unlock goodies in both HotS and Overwatch. The unlocks are all cosmetic and feature exclusive content only obtainable through this event. Each week a new challenge unlocks and all four challenges will be available until the end of the event.

The Overwatch unlocks for the Nexus 2.0 Challenge| Blizzard

With that being said, it’s no secret that I continue to praise Blizzard for their DLC and update strategy for Overwatch, but with the return of Oni Genji and now Officer D.Va joining the free-LC you can earn within the event, it’s time to discuss if this strategy is a positive one. As a business move, it’s smart for Blizzard to mash together their IPs to– hopefully– get some of their fans who may only play one or two of their games, more enamored with Blizzard’s ecosystem– but is this bad for us?

In this specific scenario, I don’t see how it’s negative for us– let me elaborate. The rewards gained on both ends of the event here are strictly cosmetic. So it’s not as if someone who chooses to play Heroes of the Storm in order to unlock the limited items is gaining a competitive edge against those who opt out. Though, I mean, if you see an Oni Genji or Officer D. Va show up, you may get psyched out at first glance but beyond that there’s nothing. On top of the rewards being strictly cosmetic, the other aspect that makes this a hard scenario for me to be upset about is that HotS is a free-to-play game. It would irk me if I had to shell out $40-$60 for a game I don’t necessarily know if I want to play in order to unlock something in a game I adore, though.

Not to mention, it’s also a great reward for gamers who are already players of both. Though, a probable downside to this would be that the HotS servers are most likely flooded with inexperienced players just looking to get the goodies. The silver lining here is that the people who get stuck in those games can at least farm some quick XP.

I’m not mad about Blizzard’s decisions here, their plan worked on me too since I still have a hankering to battle it out in Heroes of the Storm– even after completing the challenges and receiving the goods. I wouldn’t be tearful to see other game companies who have a stable full of IPs — cough cough Nintendo– reward players who play multiple games developed by them to offer sweet rewards. Imagine being able to style on foes in Super Smash Bros. with an exclusive costume variant you obtained from completing a challenge in Breath of the Wild? I’d be all about it.

I think these are safe waters for Blizzard to wade, given the nature the event– HotS being free and the rewards being cosmetic. It’ll be interesting to see the reaction if they choose to do this with World of Warcraft or if another company tries to pull it off with two paid games or items that would effect the games competitively.

Until then, I need to get on Overwatch and hit platinum before the season ends.


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