Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Overwatch 2 Theory That Changes The Future Of The Game

The long-awaited "Overwatch 2" is nearing completion as the unconfirmed but highly anticipated early to mid-2022 release date approaches. In typical Blizzard fashion, the developers have kept plenty of details a secret, but a new, lowered rating has some fans theorizing that loot boxes might be gone for good when "Overwatch 2" goes live.

As noted by fans on Reddit, a new trailer posted on the German "Overwatch" Twitter account appears to reveal the game's age rating in Germany. That new rating appears just for a few seconds in the brief teaser for the upcoming title but lists the age recommendation for players as 12+, down from the rating that "Overwatch" had, which was 16+.

While this change could mean many different things, the most popular theory from fans is that the age rating may have dropped because "Overwatch 2" has ditched its loot box system. Loot boxes have been highly controversial in the past few years, and one English government official even declared that they were a form of gambling. The loot box system in "Overwatch" was a specific point of interest in China when the government forced Blizzard to share the probabilities for items in those rewards.

It's too early to say definitively whether the rating change will eliminate the loot box system in "Overwatch 2," but fans have some compelling reasons to believe it might. Here is the "Overwatch" loot box theory that could change the future of the franchise.

Germany has announced strict new rules around possibly deceptive purchases in games

As noted, many loot boxes have caused an uproar and attracted the attention of governments worldwide. In addition to the interest paid to them by Chinese and English officials, the Australian parliament has proposed banning them in games available to minors, according to Kotaku.

The situation is no different in Germany. Der Spiegel reported that the German government passed the Youth Protection Act in May 2021 (via Google Translate). Lawyer Julia Maris explained that the new law meant "Online games or other applications that use loot boxes or similar in-game offers would probably be classified with an age rating of 18 and over."

The idea that "Overwatch 2" might be moving away from loot boxes is not new and was explored in a video earlier this year from Master Ian Gamer, who runs a popular "Overwatch" YouTube channel. Master Ian Gamer noted that "Overwatch" has long had one of the more generous loot box systems, which only contains cosmetic content instead of items that influence gameplay.

This may provide Blizzard further incentive to distance itself from loot boxes. No matter how inconsequential a loot box system may be, the presence of anything classified as a loot box could result in a higher content rating, keeping the game from its target audience. If Blizzard already sees the "Overwatch" loot box system as superfluous, then the game might as well ditch it and get the lowest rating possible. As such, the German rating change might be the first indication such a shift is occurring.