author: Hubert Sledziewski
Overwatch 2 Launch Tomorrow; Blizzard Shuts Down Overwatch Servers
Overwatch is dying, long live Overwatch 2 - though whether it will be a change for the better remains to be seen. Maybe the players will be persuaded by the free-to-play nature of Blizzard's old-new shooter.
As announced about four months ago, tomorrow, i.e. October 4, 2022, will mark the early access launch of Overwatch 2 - the sequel to the hero shooter by Blizzard Entertainment. Unlike its predecessor, the game will be distributed in F2P model, meaning that all interested PC, PS4, PS5, XOne, XSX/S and Switch players will be able to check it out.
The release of the sequel brings with it the death of the first game - even though, let's recall, initially Blizzard assured of a kind of coexistence between the two games. This, however, will not happen; Overwatch servers will be shut down today. A little more than 24 hours later, specifically on Tuesday, you will be able to play the follow-up.
First Overwatch was with us for more than six years. The title debuted in May 2016 - first in open beta, and less than three weeks later in version 1.0. The first reviews of the game were thoroughly positive; "nines" and "tens" prevailed, and the players praised colorful characters, simplicity of rules and inviting gameplay. The game became an instant hit. Suffice it to say that within a month of its release, it was played by more than 10 million people, although it was not free.
Crowds of players
Blizzard was not idle and quickly helped its new "child" grow. A little over a month after its release Overwatch receivedranked matches, and a quarter after it - an event-based Rogue mode, which later became a permanent feature in the game. Financial report of Activision Blizzard from August 2016 declared 15 million players. In November it was already 20 million.
Blizzard tempted more potential players with with free weekends, more events - including my favorite, Halloween - as well as new characters. Production found itself On the podium of the best rated games of 2016, moreover, it was constantly developed, and players non-stop were increasing - one year after its release was more than 30 million of them, which in a way can be explained by frequent promotions and the opportunity to check out the title for a relatively low amount (for example, in a pack of Humble Monthly).
Thus, Blizzard got its proverbial "golden-egg laying goose" - but began to neglect it a bit, which did not escape the attention of players. The game received less and less content - from May 2020 to May 2021 it was not enriched with it with any new content - events became repetitive, and the players began to drift away. Certainly, it was also not without significance that things looked was happeningat Activision at the time, the consequence of which were numerous layoffs and departures - particularly acute for Overwatch was the successive departure of the game's screenwriter Michael Chu, director Jeff Kaplan and executive producer Chacko Sonny.
Overwatch 2 in a nutshell
There has been increasing talk of Overwatch 2, although the information coming from Blizzard inspired moderate optimism at best. Ultimately, it turned out that the second game will:
- replace the first one;
- be distributed in a free-to-play model....
- ...fraught with microtransactions - we'll pay not only for cosmetic elements, but also for access to co-op mode;
- not have lootboxes - they will be replaced by virtual coins (credits) and paid battle passes;
- pit teams of five, not six (as in part one) against each other;
- record player statements - this is supposed to help catch toxic behavior (implicitly, also curb it)
- offer access to ranked mode only after playing 50 matches - unless you're a veteran of the first game, in which case this variant will be available right away.
As for microtransactions - if you're wondering how deep you have to dig into your wallet to unlock all the skins from the first Overwatch, then check out the calculations of a Reddit user by the handle loliscoolyay4me. He showed that this is a cost of about $12,000. What will Overwatch 2 braing to the table? We will find out soon enough.