Roundup: Overwatch Asks For More, Street Fighter Demands Costume Cash and Ark Devs Say Their Servers "Run Like Ass"

Roundup: Overwatch Asks For More, Street Fighter Demands Costume Cash and Ark Devs Say Their Servers "Run Like Ass"

Overwatch's Season 8 adds new monetisation as fans feel squeezed, while Street Fighter 6 gets greedy and the Ark Devs get surprisingly candid about their servers.

Conor Caulfield

A new season means new ways for Blizzard to monetise Overwatch 2, chipping away at player patience with new requests for $5 and $12 content.
All of this is also coming as the existing offering - Mythic Skins, Battle Pass content and new characters - are feeling much less rewarding than they did.
Over one year into Overwatch 2, things are changing, and not always for the better.

This is something we’re seeing across the Industry, as Street Fighter 6 asks nearly $100 for new costumes for the core cast as it reaches the six month mark- and Ark Survival Ascended’s launch has proven player fears about exclusive servers correct, but it turns out that the Devs agree, they run like ass.

Overwatch's Asks More For What Seems Like Less

  • Overwatch is changing up it’s rewards ahead of schedule - and it’s not landing well with audiences.
    • Director Aaron Keller has stated they plan to show off the future of the shop in early 2024, as well as their plans for the battlepass.
    • But some changes are already underway.
    • And while these are in theory positive - there’s an undercurrent of concern among Overwatch fans about the new content that all of these returning cosmetics are supplementing.
  • Because Season 8 of Overwatch has added paid event passes, the ability to buy individual time locked premium skins from Season 1 and 2, put new weapon skins in the paid shop - and in the eyes of some players, downgraded the core battle pass to a point where it’s not even worth it, while adding an entirely new event pass that people have to pay for.
    • From the top then - limited time and exclusive bundle items are now available for individual purchase in the store.
  • This is somewhat good! It might still require the premium overwatch coins - and they may still be expensive - but at the very least they are actually available.
    • It also includes Season 1 + 2 Premium shop skins (though this is likely as we’ve now rotated around the seasonal model again)
  • But the bundle skins are very clearly a response to players complaining last season that they wanted ways to access the premium skins from the bundles.
  • But, it’s only from Season 1 and 2 - and doesn’t address the skin that people actually had a problem with, Lilith and Inarius from the Diablo crossover last season.
    • In theory if we see Blizzard continue to bring more skins from season 3 onwards into this model, then we’d eventually get them, but that would be many seasons down the road.
    • It’s still FOMO - it’s just a shift from fear of missing out entirely to fear of having to wait for up to a year.
  • Then we have the Hard Light Weapon Skins, an entirely new form of cosmetic.
  • $12 for a weapon Skin for one character from a set of Mercy, Reinhardt or Reaper
    • Or $29 for all three.
  • Now to give credit, these skins do come with unique visuals and sound effects as they are used, and they’re immediately more visible to the player than the skin they’re using in many cases.
    • But it’s yet another way for Blizzard to ask for more money from users - without any way to get these for users who aren’t willing to pay.
  • Like Lilith and Inarius before them, this is a feature advertised as part of the marketing for Overwatch 2 Season 8 and there are no weapon skins on the battle pass.
  • Which brings us to the Battle Pass itself.
  • Long story short:
    • The Mythic Skin continues the trend of being reduced in complexity while again, back at the end of the track.
  • And in this case it’s also not that different from Orisa’s existing Beetle designed skins.
    • Again, there are VFX changes to her abilities and for her voice - but overall folks aren’t wildly impressed.

Which is a trend throughout this battlepass - as players are starting to feel that the nine week content cadence of Overwatch is being delivered, but not at the same quality as before.

Overwatch cutting more and more content each season?
by u/HiddenThinks in Overwatch
First Battlepass I'm not buying
by u/Cole_Evyx in Overwatch
  • But it’s not just the Battle Pass that feels bare - as players point out that Season 8’s Hero isn’t launching with any legendary skins outside of the shop.
  • It all feels thin.
    • like butter over too much bread.
  • With all of this happening at the same time that Blizzard do actually experiment with their monetisation of Overwatch.
    • By adding another battle pass.
  • The Winter Fair Event is an extra mini battle pass that exists for the duration of the season - where players can earn tickets by playing/winning games in any modes.
  • The tickets are released on a weekly basis, and you can only earn 4 of the above chunks per week.
    • Those tickets can be traded for skins and cosmetics, some old, some new.
  • The rub is that there are 120 tickets available for free track players, and a further 360 for premium track players.
    • The premium track costs 500 credits (so around $5)
    • That then gives you the opportunity to get more tickets.
    • And per the terms of the event, the premium pass will be required to get access to some of the cosmetics for purchase.
  • Tickets will convert to OW credits after the event ends - which will at least mean players don’t waste them.
  • But this is retention at it’s best - the potential to get cool new skins (in particular those formalwear skins for Baptiste and Cassidy) if you just keep coming back, and if you drop 500 credits.
    • Which is of course far less than it would cost to buy normally - so it’s a great deal!
    • Except while you’re spending time on this, you’re being encouraged to upgrade to premium, you’re being encouraged to look at that shop bundle and you’re earning regular battle pass progression too - so why not get the premium for that to get the rewards?
  • All of this while players lament the state of the original battle pass and how unrewarding everything feels.
  • This is very clearly an experiment for OW2 - one that will likely influence the eventual redesigns we see in 2024.
  • Let’s hope that between the results, and audience feedback, we end up with something slightly more consumer friendly.

Capcom's Costly Costumes, Approximately $100

  • Capcom have had a mostly great year.
    • Resident Evil 4 Remake launched to expected applause, they got Exoprimal out the door and released multiple Mega Man Games.
  • But the most promising success was Street Fighter 6 - launching to critical and audience acclaim, it was a far cry from the messiness that surrounded Street Fighter V.
    • However, as of December, Capcom have taken some turns with Street Fighter 6 that suggest the folks managing the monetisation of their games haven't learned much from the outcry around RE4 Remake's post launch MTX.
  • We've already seen the hyper expensive TMNT skins (and the fun character creation versions that folks made to get around that).
  • Now we're looking at the first round of costumes that must be paid for that are part of the regular cast.

It's an exceptional set of costumes, with throwbacks to previous entries for Luke, the 1994 animated movie for Cammy and some excellent character pieces like Juri's pyjamas or Blanka's story costume that sees him in a giant plush version of himself.

Street Fighter 6 is one of the best games of 2023 – but as the year ends, DLC greed threatens its glory
Capcom, in a rare miss, has misjudged the price of Street Fighter 6’s Outfit 3 offerings – and that’s a damn shame.
  • Alex Donaldson at VG24/7 has given a great breakdown of exactly why this is a problem though.
  • It effectively hits bingo for every single bad MTX practice you can manage:
Costumes have to be purchased with ‘Fighter Coins’, an in-game currency that can be earned in small amounts through fighting passes, but for any real purchases with any real regularity has to be purchased.
At 300 Fighter Coins, the costumes work out at something like £5/$6-ish per costume per character – which is expensive.
Fighter Coins can only be purchased in set amounts; 250, 610, 1250, and 2750.
This means that there’s no way to get exactly the amount you need for a costume: you’ll always have to overspend and have currency left over. Finally, costumes are available individually, which is great if you only want to spend on a single costume for your single main.
But there’s no bundles and no bulk-buy discounts for players who want them all.
  • They've got everything you could possibly hate, and at a price tag that means purchasing everything will be more than the game. ~$100 for just the costumes for the launch roster, and then the season passes and the like are already on top of that.
  • By comparison - if you wanted to purchase the (earnable within game currency) Costume 2 skins, you paid 50 Fighter coins.
  • Meaning a 250 coin purchase got you Five whole costumes, or you could just play the game to earn them.
  • It's fairly exhausting, and beyond even that Capcom's stated logic for the price increase is just ridiculous:
Unlike Outfit 2, Outfit 3 is only available for purchase and cannot be unlocked via World Tour, hence the price difference.
  • Now here's the thing - there's an inherent personal effect to costumes for Fighting Games. Most people have their main characters, a few out of a roster of dozens.
  • That means that in an ideal world most people will only ever buy costumes for the folks they already play because it's not like they can decide what their opponents are wearing.
  • So yeah, now you can totally buy a DLC costume and only ever fight opponents wearing that costume.
  • Can't play Blanka but absolutely adore the Mascot Costume? Well, now you've got the opportunity to see it every time you match against them.
  • As long as you pay.

Servers “Run Like Ass” say Ark: Survival Dev

  • As captured by PCGamer, Ark: Survival Ascended’s Lead Designer has heard your complaints about the way the game’s servers are handling players, and he agrees, stating on a developer hosted charity stream that:
"Firstly, I wanna say the servers are ass, they run like ass, and their stability is ass … We need to improve it … It's gonna be improved imminently."
  • Which is refreshingly honest - and the kind of thing you can really only get away with on your own streams.
  • This is all in the wake of a far more successful launch than might have been expected.
    • Per IGN, developers Studio Wildcard reported 600,000 sales in the first two weeks on Steam alone, before the Xbox or Playstation versions launched.
    • Though with performance issues and bugs being widely reported for the team to work on.
  • Considering that the response to the A:SA from audiences was deep scepticism, at least partly because they didn’t show gameplay for the game until very close to launch - they’ve managed to get many people on board.
  • But this might not be as messy a situation as it could have been.
  • Back in August - Server Provider Nitrado was confirmed as the exclusive server partner for Studio Wildcard and Snail Games.
    • This would mean official servers could only be hosted on their network, with a view to integrating significant improvements by having mods be manageable on a server level (and thus playable on console) and also having built in protections from DDOS and other issues.
    • Unfortunately this also meant community hosted servers or any provider other than Nitrado would be unable to be used.
    • Privately hosted servers could still happen - but there were limitations with SteamDRM meaning you were unable to run a server and the game from the same account.
  • Dedicated communities and modders did not care for this - and told Studio Wildcare repeatedly.
  • Only two days after launch on 27th October, they relented.
  • With the removal of SteamDRM for the Server tech - now players could at least host their own private servers without needing to access Nitrado or buy a second copy of the game.
  • It’s a manual, labour intensive solution that requires players to take things into their own hands - but odds are they’re better than the servers that the devs themselves say are “ass”.