Is Overwatch going to die during 2021 while the fanbase is impatiently waiting for the new release? Or are we seeing the exact same scenario as with League of Legend’s rising player count?
According to Blizzard Entertainment’s official report, there were 10 million monthly players back in November 2020. That’s still a significant figure, yet the general hype about the game is undoubtedly scaled down.
So, the answer is that Overwatch isn’t going to die soon.
However, this might be the start of a slow-paced and peaceful ending.
But before we put a full stop on this one, let’s dive deeper into details of what’s really going on right now.
Overwatch’s popularity and the battle with competitors
The game was released in 2016, and back then, the only competitors were Valve’s Team Fortress 2 and CS:GO. They are known as well-established shooters with a solid fanbase and a significant eSports presence.
The first two years of Overwatch were pretty intense inside the Blizzard’s headquarters. The game grew from 35 to 50 million players only in 2018. It was just the beginning of an era, yet unfortunately for Overwatch’s loyal fans, this was definitely the peak.
Yet, as soon as Blizzard’s game started blooming, new threats for this game were born. Those were new hits such as Battle Royale games that were about to take over the world with ease.
In one moment, all the hype was about one hundred players getting dropped onto the island with only one thing in mind – a massive massacre.
Also, 2020 brought us perhaps the biggest Overwatch competitor. That was Valorant.
In theory, the game looks the same as Overwatch. You’re picking a class to go in a battle with, together with four more teammates, and the goal is to defeat the opposing five-player team.
The mechanics are somewhat taken from CS:GO, with classes and spells remarkably similar to Overwatch. And the biggest problem in Valorant lies in their developers – Riot Games. You already know them as the founders and developers of League of Legends – the most popular eSports title in the previous decade.
Numbers behind Overwatch viewers at Twitch
A great proof of the game’s popularity can be easily seen through the number of viewers on a streaming platform Twitch.
Also, it’s easy to track ups and downs, as well as the game’s peak moments throughout history.
This might not be the metric for a total number of players, but it indeed defines one game’s popularity. For example, League of Legends is known to break records with the number of concurrent viewers for their World Championships.
But what are the figures telling for Overwatch?
Unfortunately, the situation isn’t as great over here. The viewership seems to struggle all the way back from November 2019. The number of viewers appears to go up and down anything from 15 to 25 thousand per month.
The peak moment in Twitch’s Overwatch history was during August 2019. That was a time when Overwatch League took place and the peak number was around 47,000 viewers, according to Statista.
The reason behind almost two years of struggle might be in a lack of content, with no new agents or significant patch updates. However, even by having this in mind, we’re pretty impressed with the stable number of Overwatch viewers since mid-2019.
Will the upcoming Overwatch 2 change anything?
As soon as Blizzard announced the new Overwatch 2, the gaming scene started to believe that the rebirth might actually happen. This also explains the idle moments in the current game’s updating.
The initial expectation was that Overwatch 2 would come out in 2021. However, in February 2021, Blizzard’s CFO, Dannis Durkin, said that the company didn’t plan Overwatch 2 for the current year. So, more realistic dates are in 2022, and that’s a pretty optimistic scenario as well.
On the other hand, fans and active players are eagerly awaiting the new sequel, as it’s going to bring new heroes, maps and new and improved game modes.
Developers of this game said that there wouldn’t be any loot boxes in the sequel. However, they promised to include enough new features to keep existing and attract new fans as well.