Blizzard May Be The Death Of Overwatch 2

Is free-to-play right for Overwatch 2?

By AlexJohn, Posted 14 Jun 2022

Overwatch was a bit of a phenomenon when it was released in 2016. Blizzard's 6v6 shooter fostered a dedicated fan base of gamers, streamers, and cosplayers that nurtured the game into becoming one of the most talked-about titles of the last decade. In the last couple of years, however, Overwatch has quite drastically fallen from the public consciousness. Despite some statistics sites still reporting relatively large numbers of active players, generally, the sentiment online has been that Overwatch is a dying or (some might say) dead game.

The rise of Fortnite and the battle royale genre had an impact on Overwatch's success, but the game certainly didn't help itself either. A lack of meaningful updates, repetitive 'special' events, a focus on E-Sports competitions and the Overwatch League over the regular player's experience, and Blizzard's litany of controversies have likely all had an effect on Overwatch's popularity in recent years. 

Sojourn, Overwatch 2, Blizzard, Activision, NoobFeed

Hoping to relaunch the game that once defined a genre, Overwatch 2 will release on all platforms on October 4, 2022. Unlike its predecessor, and more in line with the trends of today, Overwatch 2 will be free-to-play with Blizzard Entertainment believing that "the game is a social experience that should be shared with everyone".

Ironically, as much as Overwatch has been praised for its diversity, Blizzard has been widely criticized for promoting a toxic work culture, including accusations of sexual harassment and a frankly bizarre diversity chart. Blizzard claimed that "inclusion is a strong driving force" behind the move to a free-to-play format; "when we stick together" they continue, almost ignorant of their bad press, "and work as a team, there's nothing that can stand in our way".

Circuit Royale, Overwatch 2, Blizzard, Activision, NoobFeed

Overwatch is a prime example of how the video game landscape can change in a short space of time. Overwatch 2 will not only be released as a free-to-play game but also as an Early Access title and a live service model. Having already been criticized in the past for Overwatch's loot box system, Blizzard has clearly not learned their lesson. To be clear, Activision Blizzard has not yet revealed how they plan to monetize Overwatch 2. However, going off of the precedent set by other free-to-play live service games like Fortnite and both Activision and Blizzard's own track records, one can make a safe assumption that systems like Battle Passes, cosmetic bundles, loot boxes, and predatory microtransactions will all make an appearance.

The Founders Pack will be available to players that own the original Overwatch game, and it will feature 2 Epic skins, an exclusive Founders Icon, and a surprise gift (to be announced). To claim the Founders Pack, players must own Overwatch before June 23 (usually $19.99 for the Standard Edition and $39.99 for the Legendary Edition on Blizzard's store) and have logged in to the game before December 5.

Junker Queen, Junkertown, Overwatch 2, Blizzard, Activision, NoobFeed

Overwatch 2 should be a fantastic character-based multiplayer shooter from a gameplay perspective. There have already been glimpses of what Overwatch 2 has to offer, including new characters Sojourn and Junker Queen, a single-player element, and adjusted (hopefully improved) character abilities and balancing. Only time will tell if Overwatch 2 is mired by Activision Blizzard's toxic workplace culture and a greedy milking of the free-to-play and live-service models.

Alex David Johnson
News Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

Overwatch 2


Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, Switch, PC
Publisher(s): Blizzard Entertainment
Developer(s): Blizzard Entertainment
Genres: First-Person Shooter
Themes: MOBA, PvP, 5v5 Brawl
Release Date: 2022-10-04

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