Overwatch: Blizzard's New Record
Don't worry loves, calvary's here! -Tracer
Just few days ago, Blizzard launched with a new title to change the landscape of eSports with a completely new genre. You may ask, “How big is it?” Well, why don’t you ask Day9 what he’s heard the past few days?
So I hear from twitter Overwatch Overwatch overwatch overwatch, Overwatch OVERWATCH overwatch overwatch Overwatch overwatch Overwatch— Sean Plott (@day9tv) May 24, 2016
Blizzard is notorious for creating historical games. Just to name a few, Diablo III sold 30 million copies worldwide as the tenth best-selling game of all time, the original Starcraft sold 11 million copies to be named as the “dad” of eSports, and World of Warcraft sold 14 million copies of the game, including the expansion packs, to be one of the world’s most played MMORPG games of all time. Here we are to experience, yet, another franchise name to make history under Blizzard.
Whether you like it or not, Overwatch is not an overhype. If not the largest, Overwatch made one of the largest beta tests in gaming history with a whopping 9.7 million players, according to Blizzards’ infographics. To put into perspective, Overwatch stomps numbers given by both Destiny (4.6 million beta players) and Tom Clancy’s Division (6.4 million beta players).
It did not end there. 81 million hours were played during the open beta with 37 million matches played around the globe. Moreover, Overwatch climbed to the top as the most viewed game during the day of its release with more than 250,000 viewers concurrently. Overwatch, currently, remains as one of the top 5 most daily viewed games on twitch since its release, giving hope to what can only be called the “new eSports frontier.”
How on Earth did Blizzard hit those remarkable numbers? There are many factors to Overwatch’s success, but we will break it down to generally two reasons:
- Blizzard’s History - Blizzard acquired so many valuable experiences as an entertainment company. From the grand eSports scene of Starcraft to the player based communities of Warcraft and Diablo, Blizzard gained the unique marketing experiences that no other entertainment companies could ever gain. These experiences led to mass commercialization of Overwatch through TV stars (Conan O’Brien; Jimmy Kimmel), Youtube, Twitch, and many more platforms where Overwatch ultimately gained global attention everywhere. (If you haven’t checked out the Overwatch festival that happened in Busan, Korea, what are you doing? Click here!)
- New Idea - Overwatch is not like any other FPS game before it. While carrying unique aspects of many MOBA and FPS games of the past, Blizzard expressed their novel visions of a new FPS genre that will inspire other companies to generate competition with their own titles, like Battleborn. As I have mentioned earlier, Overwatch will host itself as the new frontier for eSports.
While the Overwatch hype is incredible, only time will truly test how large Overwatch will become. Differentiating from the mainstream games of today can create a breather for players, which can help develop Overwatch into the next “StarCraft.” However, League of Legends and Starcraft: Brood War did not turn into the eSports games we know today just from the beginning of their releases. In fact, both games became what they are because of their communities' neverending growth. The community dictates over how the game will do in the eSports market. If the current players of Overwatch really love the game and its community, Overwatch will naturally grow into an eSports game that Blizzard has been waiting decades to create.