News Profit's Takes

Gauging The Success Of Overwatch 2’s Launch

Since Overwatch 2 was released on October 4th, the game has already managed to find immense success. According to Activision-Blizzard, the game was able to record over 25 million players in the first ten days following its launch.

Overwatch 2 was easily able to outperform its predecessor, which registered a player base of 15 million people almost three months after its initial release in 2016. However, it is worth noting that Overwatch 2 was likely able to garner more players because it is a free-to-play game while the original Overwatch was a full-priced product. Moreover, Overwatch was taken completely offline just days before the sequel came out.

“The launch of Overwatch 2 has been such an important moment for Blizzard,” said company president Mike Ybarra. “This is only the beginning—there are so many possibilities to explore in the world of Overwatch, and we cannot wait for players to experience everything the team is building for the live game.”

While the numbers may be impressive, not everybody is thrilled with Overwatch 2. In fact, noted reviewer Jason “videogamedunkey” Gastrow has labeled Overwatch 2 as the “most disappointing” game of the year.

Overwatch 2 isn’t the worst game I’ve played this year, but it’s definitely the most disappointing,” he said in an October 14th review that has already been viewed over 3.3 million times.

The Profit‘s Take:

The feelings about Overwatch 2 are not unanimous. There’s a scenario where the game is a success AND videogamedunkey is right. Sure, there are a lot of people playing it, but that may not mean that the game is good or innovative. Overwatch may have contracted Call of Duty syndrome. Every year, we will see an update to Overwatch 2 that is basically just a reskin of the last version of the game. That would be the expected move from current-day Blizzard. I don’t think Overwatch 2 is a bad game. HOWEVER, I agree with videogamedunkey because it is a disappointment. If I close my eyes, it looks EXACTLY like Overwatch 1 with a few minor tweaks. I’m disappointed because they had over five years to make Overwatch 2 great, and this is the best they could come up with. Hype or no hype, it feels like they’re underachieving, which is par for the course with Blizzard these days. The numbers are surprising, but there’s a perfect storm going on in our industry right now that leads to this kind of success. It’s free-to-play, there aren’t a lot of good games this year, and people have been waiting a long time for this sequel. All of those factors combined lead to 25 million players playing a game that’s not that new or exciting. I suspect the player base will be lower six months from now. I want to see if the store will perform better than loot boxes in the long haul. My tinfoil hat theory: they purposefully delayed the PvE part of Overwatch 2 to sustain the player base for a longer amount of time. Then, six months from now, after the hype has died down, Blizzard will release the PvE mode, which brings the game back into the limelight.

(All information was provided by Comicbook Gaming, GamesIndustry.biz, and Google [1,2])

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