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Statistically Speaking, the Overwatch Anniversary Event is Bad for Loot Boxes [Update]

Blizzard's Jeff Kaplan weighs in on the Loot Box controversy.

This article first appeared on USgamer, a partner publication of VG247. Some content, such as this article, has been migrated to VG247 for posterity after USgamer's closure - but it has not been edited or further vetted by the VG247 team.

Update: Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan responded to player complaints over at the Blizzard forums writing,

"I just wanted to acknowledge that we've been following the threads about the loot box rewards as they pertain to the anniversary events, other events and loot boxes in general. The feedback and suggestions have been helpful to us. We had a really great discussion yesterday about the feedback we've been hearing this week. While I don't have any immediate action items to report, I thought it was important for you to know that we are listening."

Overwatch's statistically intimidating Loot Boxes

Overwatch has a lot of cool, creatively free, themes for this week’s big Anniversary Event. According to Blizzard, this is the largest amount of legendary skins the company put out for an event, but they’re accompanied by a bunch of other items. So many items in fact, that it might be mathematically more difficult to get the items you want this time around than in previous events.

According to Reddit Overwatch staticians, it will cost 56,475 credits to purchase all 108 new Anniversary items, only 11 of which are legendary skins. The reason for the high price is clearly because of the new skins, whose rarity increases their credit costs (~58.4% of the total cost in fact). If you decide to purchase skins solely through credits like the baller you are, you’ll be looking at throwing down a cool 33,000 credits to dress up your favorite heroes in those sweet new digs.

The Overwatch Anniversary event blows away its nearest competitor for most loot, the Year of the Rooster event. That event released 99 new items for a total cost of 37,050 credits, which is just a few thousand credits more than what it takes to only buy the skins in the Anniversary event.

Worse yet is that, by nearest estimates, it takes hundreds, if not thousands of loot boxes to collect every item in Overwatch during events. I say estimates because Blizzard hasn’t released any actual statistics for drop rates. The company was recently forced to reveal loot box drop rates in China due to an anti-gambling law, but it’s not clear whether those statistics apply to players outside of China.

So with the prohibitive credit costs and slim margins of success given how rare Legendary Skins are, especially in such a crowded pool of goods, both the math and the economics seem stacked against you. Basically it sounds like bad new for any Overwatch completionists, out to get every skin in the game.

At least you might pick up a bunch of dance emotes which you’ll then be able to show off at the many Overwatch dance parties players are throwing.

The Overwatch Anniversary Event is currently running until June 12.

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Overwatch

PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch

About the Author
Matt Kim avatar

Matt Kim

News Editor, USgamer

Matt Kim is a former freelance writer who's covered video games and digital media. He likes video games as spectacle and is easily distracted by bright lights or clever bits of dialogue. He also once wrote about personal finance, but that's neither here nor there.
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