This article is brought to you by StatBanana, the best Overwatch strategy tool.
With a thriving esports league and a sequel on the way, Overwatch is still very popular—even with over three years under its belt. The Overwatch League will hit the road next year, and fans across the globe will get the chance to attend live matches in their home cities. But just how many people are still playing Overwatch daily?
Blizzard Entertainment usually remains relatively tight-lipped about the exact number of players the game has. Occasionally, though, the Overwatch developer will release a number to check in with fans on the size of the playerbase. Earlier in the week, Overwatch’s lead director Jeff Kaplan recently mentioned a rough estimate of the playerbase size at this year’s BlizzCon.
BlizzCon 2019 marked the next step in Overwatch‘s history: Overwatch 2. Blizzard revealed the first-person shooter’s sequel during the convention’s opening ceremony and gave fans a brief overview of the upcoming game. Kaplan assured longtime fans of the game that their skin collections and accomplishments would carry over to the sequel should they choose to buy a copy.
But while going into the details of the overlap between games, Kaplan briefly mentioned a rough estimate for the number of players the base game has.
“We want to make sure that all Overwatch cosmetics come forward with you into Overwatch 2, so all of your progress matters,” Kaplan said. “Nothing’s getting left behind. No one’s getting left behind. We worked so hard to build this community of over 50 million players at this point, the last thing we would ever do is do anything to split what an amazing community you guys are.”
It’s unclear what the number is referring to, although it likely means 50 million copies sold and not active players. Although the last number of total Overwatch players we got from Blizzard was a 40 million player total in May 2018, just as the game’s second anniversary event approached. Months later, however, Blizzard reported 37 million monthly active users across all of its games in an August 2018 second quarter earnings report, a number down one million monthly active users from the first quarter in 2018.
None of these are necessarily bad for Overwatch; it’s definitely not a “ded game.” Blizzard continues to make money from the title through loot box sales and continued interest in the Overwatch League. And with Overwatch 2 on the horizon, the game still has a bright future.
Overwatch will share its multiplayer environment with the sequel, meaning more maps, game modes, and playable heroes are on their way for players of the base game—even if they choose not to buy a copy of Overwatch 2. And with new games to play and new characters to try out, Overwatch and its sequel will likely bring in a new wave of players or those returning to the franchise.