Overwatch was the number 1 premium-priced PC game for digital revenues in May, according to SuperData Research. On console it was number 5 overall for digital sales. That includes both microtransactions and full-game downloads from Battle.net, Xbox Store, and PlayStation store. All of that combined generated $269 million in revenues last month for Blizzard.
That gaming industry was worth $99.6 billion last year, and SuperData reports that digital sales across console, PC, mobile, and web produced $6 billion in May alone. That is up 11% thanks in part to Overwatch, which sells for $40 on PC and $60 on console and was the fastest selling game last month.
Despite not being free to play, Overwatch is rolling out a long-term monetization strategy by offering a hefty quantity of vanity items including skins and graffiti tags. Overwatch features in-game loot boxes similar to the gacha mechanics that are popular in Japanese mobile games. As you gain levels you get a free loot box that may contain new looks for your character and more. You can also purchase bundles of loot boxes using real cash. The highest in-game purchase is 50 of the gacha crates for $40 – the same price as the game itself.
We’ve seen microtransactions like this is many games in the past and Overwatch is proving that the model can work on a huge scale.