Regardless of being one of many largest multiplayer video games round, you do not hear that a lot about Overwatch these days. There is a good motive for that: Blizzard has been winding down growth on the sport for years as it has been engaged on Overwatch 2. A yr in the past, the studio introduced that Echo can be the final new hero launched within the sport earlier than the sequel comes out (a day that is still a far-off thriller). Since then, it has remained at a near-standstill: Seasonal occasions repeat as they’ve in years previous and the one new stuff to talk of are hero skins and the occasional map.
Surprisingly, the stagnant yr did not cease Overwatch’s participant base from rising. Chatting with Gamespot about his new position, Overwatch 2 director Aaron Keller revealed that the team-based shooter reached 60 million gamers as of 2021, 10 million extra gamers than it had in late 2019.
“We have now 60 million gamers that love that aspect of the sport and are hooked up to [the PvP] aspect of the sport. We all know, going ahead, we’ve got to make the subsequent finest model of a team-based shooter.”
As with every sport, there are a number of components to contemplate that will have contributed to these hundreds of thousands of latest gamers: Blizzard could also be counting each account created throughout its final free weekend, for example. A few of these accounts may also be alternate smurf accounts created by longtime gamers. There was additionally a (very transient) interval final yr when Overwatch was given away on PC as a part of an esports promotion, however that was shut down fairly shortly. Even with all of this in thoughts, it is in all probability protected to imagine most of these 10 million are precise noobs.
60 million would possibly sound like chump change in comparison with Apex Legends’ or Name of Obligation: Warzone’s 100 million-player milestones, nevertheless it’s a unique world without spending a dime video games. Overwatch has by no means gone absolutely free-to-play and isn’t given a heavy low cost. Its development is much like Rainbow Six Siege, which reached 70 million gamers earlier this yr and is repeatedly on sale for lower than $10.
Overwatch has been just a little stale with no new heroes for a yr now, nevertheless it’s nonetheless a incredible time for those who play with pals (and solely pals, solo queue is an sad place). My group obtained again into it in a giant manner late final yr and once more in current weeks. It nonetheless scratches an itch that no different FPS does for me. Hopefully Blizzard can carry this momentum into Overwatch 2’s new modes, heroes, and long-awaited PvE missions each time it lastly comes out.