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    The Consequences of a Switch to Free-to-Play for Overwatch and Its Esports League

    Newham, Thomas, Scelles, Nicolas ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6177-5307 and Valenti, Maurizio ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8029-9863 (2022) The Consequences of a Switch to Free-to-Play for Overwatch and Its Esports League. Journal of Risk and Financial Management, 15 (11). p. 490. ISSN 1911-8066

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    Videogames and their business models have evolved significantly over time, with consumers preferring a shift towards free-to-play (F2P) without any initial purchase, as evidenced in the popularity of Fortnite, Warzone and others. The aim of this research is to establish the viability of a switch from a buy-to-play (B2P) to a F2P model for the game Overwatch and the impact on its associated esports. The relevant literature within the subject area was identified. A framework was then developed to determine whether a switch to F2P would be successful for Overwatch, based on the criteria seen as significant within the literature identified. These criteria represent a mix of quantitative and qualitative approaches, and a mix of styles, with some being more descriptive with biographical elements of the author’s experience, and others being more analytical. The main conclusion drawn from the analysis undertaken is that Overwatch would be well suited for a switch to F2P. The sequel to Overwatch, Overwatch 2, is due to release in the near future, which would have opened the possibility of Overwatch being free, while Overwatch 2 is paid. However, Overwatch 1 is confirmed to be shutting down completely. It is also concluded there would be a likely increase in player numbers, and that a switch to F2P is likely to improve the problematic esports scene associated with Overwatch.

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