If you’re one of the those unlucky people who still don’t have access to the Overwatch beta, you’re not alone. And there are 7 million reasons why you may still have to wait.
That’s the number of people currently registered for the Overwatch beta, according to Mike Morhaime, Blizzard’s president, who spoke to investors during Blizzard’s Q3 earnings call yesterday. That number doesn’t include China and its hundreds of millions of potential gamers, meaning the Overwatch beta is a hot commodity right now.
That 7 million number, for example, tops the current number of subscribers for World of WarCraft, which now sits at 5.5 million down from a peak of 12 million in 2011. That’s not great news for Blizzard, but clearly they’re primed for success with their next property, Overwatch.
Keep in mind the Overwatch beta is an opt-in process. People have to specifically sign up on their Battle.net account to be considered for access, meaning a huge number of people went out of their way to get their hands on Blizzard’s first new intellectual property in over a decade.
Right now it’s unclear how the company plans to capitalize on those 7 million potential players. They haven’t released data about a business model, although data mining has revealed a number of in-game customization options that could be monetized with microtransactions if the company chooses to do so. We’ll likely learn more details at BlizzCon on Thursday and Friday this week.
Every day more and more people get access to Overwatch, but with 7 million would-be players in line most likely have a while to wait. Luckily, Blizzard will begin hosting weekend stress tests after BlizzCon that should open access to a wider range of players. With 7 million looking to get in-game, they probably need those tests to make sure the servers are ready to handle the game’s move to open beta, hopefully sooner rather than later.
Screenshot via Blizzard