Overwatch: How the game passed 50 million players
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November 5, 2019

Overwatch: How the game passed 50 million players

Overwatch has come a long way since its release back in the Spring of 2016, debuting on May 24. Overwatch was one of a kind when it came to games in general. The game was uniquely designed and ultimately fresh.

That amassed a massive supporting background for the game, which also contributed to its success in the industry. Overwatch would later accumulate seven million players in its first week of its release. Since then, numbers have grown, and Overwatch has officially passed 50 million in player count, according to Investor Activision.

Recently, Overwatch has announced the successor of the game and, ultimately, the next step in the franchise. Overwatch 2, would be Blizzard Entertainments’ next plan for the game.

However, the journey to the point where Overwatch is now was a long and struggling one — tackling countless balancing issues, implementing new heroes, hosting several tournaments and events, and more.

2016: The rise of Overwatch

Overwatch’s release was a massive announcement to gamers around the world. The idea of being able to play different characters with various skill sets was mind-blowing. Notably, in a multiplayer first-person shooter setting. Overwatch had twenty-one characters to choose from on release of the game.

According to SuperData, Overwatch would peak at $269 million in revenue from digital sales globally. The game would carry on to be the beloved pastime of ten million players by mid-June,and the top-selling game too.

By August, Overwatch players got to experience the first seasonal event of the game. In commemoration of the 2016 Summer Olympics, Overwatch announced Summer Games — an annual event with 100 added cosmetics and a new game mode called LucioBall.

Image result for 2016 overwatch

Blizzard Entertainment

The following milestone for Overwatch was its professional scene; Overwatch World Cup debuted in September. Following-up the set of events, Overwatch would eventually introduce holiday-themed events called Halloween Terror and Winter Wonderland later in the year. Overwatch also introduced two brand new characters named Ana and Sombra.

2017: The growth of Overwatch

The game would officially have its first Chinese New Year-themed event called Year of the Rooster, which left players feeling ecstatic at the start of 2017 in January. Later along the line in April, Overwatch announced their first story-typed event called Overwatch Archive: Uprising, which explained more descriptively about the Omnics.

Overwatch had a strong start and continued to prevail in the gaming industry. The certainty of its success was made evident in May when Investor Activision released the 2017 financial results for Activision Blizzard. Summing up over $1 billion in revenue, 80 percent coming from digital sales (Digital game sales, microtransactions, and subscription fees.). Which undeniably showed the community that Overwatch was continuing to blossom.

The game would continue to expand with its release of the following events: Overwatch World Cup 2017, Overwatch’s 1st Anniversary, Summer Games 2017, Halloween Terror 2017, and Winter Wonderland. Overwatch would also introduced three new characters named Orisa, Moira, and Doomfist. These characters would ultimately define everything meta-based.

2018: Defining esports

Overwatch made headlines in 2018. Overwatch launched the inaugural season for its competitive scene (Overwatch League) called the 2018 Overwatch League Season. Which became one of the biggest Esport series of events in gaming history. Summing up a total prize pool of $3.5 million to be won. Overwatch would continue to grow even faster than usual because of its Esport introduction.

During 2018, Overwatch also raised over $12.7 million for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, which would help spread awareness and provide financial support for the research.

Image result for overwatch breast cancer


The game also brought back previous, and follow-up typed events:
Year of the Dog, Overwatch Archive: Retribution, Overwatch’s 2nd Anniversary, Summer Games 2018, Halloween Terror 2018, and Winter Wonderland 2018. Additionally, three new characters came to the ranks of heroes and villains in Overwatch, which would shape strategic gameplay: Ashe, Brigitte, and Wrecking Ball.

2019: Another milestone

For over three consecutive years, has Overwatch been providing the world with exciting gaming content and gameplay. It’s at year 2019, where Overwatch opens a new door in the industry. In July, Overwatch surpassed $1 billion in microtransactions, according to SuperData, which makes it the sixth Activision-Blizzard product line to reach this metric.

The game introduced an extensive set of events in the year of 2019: Ana’s Bastet Challenge, Year of the Pig, Overwatch Archive: Storm Rising, Overwatch’s 3rd Anniversary, Baptiste’s Reunion Challenge, Summer Games 2019, Bastion’s Brick Challenge, and Halloween Terror 2019, As well as adding two new characters named Baptist and Sigma.

Along the line, on Nov 1, Overwatch announced their next step for its gaming franchise at BlizzCon. The game would be getting somewhat of a new experience for players around-the-world. A gaming sequel is coming named Overwatch 2. The game consists of PvE encounters, new modes, new characters, and an array of added features. Overwatch has also accomplished a player count of 50 million and continues to grow as one of the largest player-based games in the world.

Image result for overwatch 2


Throughout Overwatch’s years of activity in making the game lively, enjoyable, and playable, the game has received several awards during the three years since its release. The game has received from The Game Awards Game of the Year, Best Multiplayer Game, Best Ongoing Game, Best Game Studio/Game Direction, and Best Esports Game. As well as receiving the British Academy Games Award for Multiplayer and Teen Choice Award for Choice Video Game.

The Overwatch franchise has been a massive success across players, fans, and fellow development organizations. Not only has this game reached commercial success, but has become one of the heavy hitters in the competitive esports world. As the game continues to grow, it’s prospects are promising.

Written by Jay Hunter

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