According to Activision Blizzard (no, not just Blizzard, you might want to forget that!), the free-to-play game has already reached the point where Overwatch 2 has more players than the first game ever managed to achieve.
Overwatch attracted 15 million players in the first three months after its release. In contrast, Overwatch 2 reached more than 25 million players in its first ten days, and not only did the sequel take over the first part in this respect but also in terms of the number of concurrent players: although no exact figure is available, Activision Blizzard says that the new product has almost tripled the old one’s score.
“The launch of Overwatch 2 has been such an important moment for Blizzard. We’re thrilled to bring new players from around the world into Overwatch’s vibrant universe while welcoming the existing Blizzard community back. This is only the beginning—there are so many possibilities to explore in the world of Overwatch. We cannot wait for players to experience everything the team is building for the live game,” said Blizzard president Mike Ybarra in a statement. The term “live” here refers, by implication, to the live service model.
The launch of Overwatch 2 has not been without its problems (DDoS attacks, dropping Battle.net’s mobile number requirement, and since Thursday, they’ve been investigating a bug that caused PCs to shut down or restart suddenly), and so for the lost time, they’ve promised to give players items and double XP weekends in the future (next weekend, the weekend after, then from November 24 to 28). The company wrote: “Launching Overwatch 2 as a live service comes with amazing opportunities and challenges, both anticipated and unexpected. We’ve largely stabilized the game overall, and we’ve made a lot of progress in fixing or improving issues some of you are facing. We’re committed to consistently investigating issues as they arise, working quickly towards fixes, and being transparent with our community on the status of Overwatch 2. The team continues to work to deploy further stability updates, with another patch planned for later this week, and we are monitoring the game closely for emergent issues and bugs.”
Let’s also not forget that they’re beating their chests at the fact that interest in a free-to-play game is higher than it was towards a paid game. More people will play something they don’t have to pay for!