Overwatch 2's first seasonal event, Halloween Terror, is here. In some ways its formula barely deviates from the original game's shenanigans: it's a small PvE mode with fixed heroes and varying difficulties. Tyler Colp particularly enjoyed this year's offering, Wrath of the Bride. But gone are the days of earning skins in-game through loot boxes and challenges. Nope, this year things are a little different, a little pricier, and fans are not happy.
New heroes Kiriko and Junker Queen have received spooky skins as part of the event, available to purchase through the shop. While Junker Queen's skin is available individually (still at an eye-watering $19, mind you), Kiriko's skin is the one causing more of a ruckus. As multiple Reddit users have pointed out, it's only available via a 2600 coin bundle, which requires either purchasing $5 and $20 Overwatch coin packs or forking out for the next coin tier at $50.
The high price is the fuse leading to a fan blow-up, but the match lighting that fuse is Blizzard's decision to force a package deal (opens in new tab). The bundle includes a name card, weapon charm, highlight intro, and player icon alongside the skin but offers no way to purchase the items separately. The bundle is sold for an alleged discount: the store says its actual value is $37. According to the bundle description, that metric is based on the "price for similar items offered individually in the same tier and category."
Overwatch's subreddit and Twitter replies are flooded with fans calling on Blizzard to reduce the price of the items and offer them separately. Streamer Redshell called out the game's "fake discount" in a YouTube community post, bluntly adding: "Fuck Blizzard and Fuck Overwatch 2." A Reddit post with over 1,400 upvotes called Blizzard "a garbage greedy ass company," while another compared Junker Queen's skin price to a skin in Fortnite.
Some fans have also taken issue with the prices of old event skins. A bundle that is, according to Blizzard, worth $76 at full price (but is being sold for $44) contains four previous Halloween event skins that could previously be earned for free through natural progression in Overwatch 1. Some of these skins have been in the game for five years, which makes their new supposed $20 value a bit of a stinger.
The juxtaposition of Overwatch 2's monetisation in comparison to Overwatch 1 certainly isn't helping the backlash that's been happening since the game launched. Loot boxes are awful and predatory, but at least the original game let you never spend a dime (outside the game's initial purchase) and still consistently earn a nice stream of rewards. It's an unfortunate consequence of its transition to free-to-play, and the high prices are easy to point to as further evidence of Activision-Blizzard's push to wring more and more money out of its games. Hopefully, Blizzard will reconsider its skin pricing soon and we won't end up in a world where we're forking out $45 for a mythic skin.