Are Overwatch’s days numbered?

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Are you worried about the competitive Overwatch scene? Fans and commentators alike love to speculate about the untimely demise of such a big competitive game and ask, Is Overwatch Dead? Things change a lot from year to year, but one thing that gets said about Overwatch is that it has died or is slowing down.

Despite active teams, there are still some who think Overwatch League is dead or Valorant will kill Overwatch. It’s still too early to call the game dead when a sequel is in the works and there are still a lot of players.

Rather than speculate about the Overwatch League, it’s usually safer to assume that it’s dead. Even though the league itself may not be dying, the increased regulations and interest of fans could be taking a toll. There are still some problems with both the League and the Contenders, but they’re still pretty healthy. Even so, there are still a lot of teams and players that draw big crowds. Overwatch has made a few mistakes, like the hero pools getting muddled and the unpopular role queue, but I don’t think it’s accurate to say it’s dying. At the moment, the biggest obstacle is the loss of sponsors.

So is this just another case of the internet getting worked up over nothing, or is Overwatch really heading down the tubes? We’re here to help you understand what people mean when they ask if Overwatch is dying. We’ll even see if the first-person shooter really is already dead.

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What is the current popularity of Overwatch?

When you ask, “Is Overwatch still popular and active?”, you’re asking a much simpler question. 

Overwatch is still a fairly popular game, but most metrics show that it has fallen far short of what it once was. Despite the fact that Overwatch League isn’t as obvious as it once was, it doesn’t have the same viewership numbers as it used to. It’s almost impossible to get into a game on the title anymore because the queues have gotten so long. Right now, a lot of development staff members are under question due to external factors.

The fallout from the Activision Blizzard troubles means Overwatch is currently without sponsorship, and the names of the heroes have to be changed so they don’t get mixed up with real-life names. Overwatch is clearly having some issues right now, so it’s no wonder people are asking “Is Overwatch dead?”.

Despite all that, the game itself and the gameplay are still thought to be pretty fun. Maybe it’s just a matter of the title entering a transitional phase. Consequently, it’s not updated regularly and only makes the news when it’s problematic. While Overwatch is still popular, there aren’t many people playing it.

Overwatch is dying? What does that really mean?

A game like Overwatch will be nearly impossible to judge if it’s dying without knowing how long it will last. In general, most games have an active online community that dies off after a few years. Some games, like Smash Bros Melee, last longer despite being replaced, while others are dead when they come out. For the most part, games come out, people play them, they get sold cheaply for a short time, then they get forgotten. Then nostalgia kicks in again and they get remade or become retro. However, over the last few years, it’s become clear that this model doesn’t work for all types of games.

Even the most niche of games can survive after the developers have stopped supporting them, thanks to the competitive and speedrunning communities. The competitive community tends to stick with one version of a game for a long time, checking for updates and balancing changes rather than switching versions. Esports are becoming more popular, so more games are available as services. This means the game will be active for a lot longer than usual, with regular updates and patches to keep it fresh. How does this influence the question of whether Overwatch is dead?

You have to look at the second category. Even though it’s been around for longer than most games, up until recently, the game received regular updates despite being around for so long. Although the news was updated regularly, people still speculated about the future. According to Google Trends, the question of whether Overwatch will survive is being asked about as often as it is now.

There aren’t many games that last long enough to remain relevant long after their prime. That’s the case with Overwatch. There’s also a sequel coming, so the lifespan of one title will be different from Overwatch’s. Even though the game seems to have a bright future, news of players and streamers leaving the game is everywhere. Additionally, we should mention the recent Overwatch League news about players jumping ship and joining Valorant. What does all that mean for the future of Overwatch? By comparing past instances where Overwatch was proclaimed dead with what’s happening now, we can learn a lot.

How’s Overwatch doing? Is it dead yet?

It’s a no, in a nutshell.

You’ve probably seen a lot of memes that say Overwatch is dead. This isn’t true, since a game can only be considered ‘dead’ if the developers don’t support it.

Even though Overwatch gets a lot of updates, balance changes, and events, players still love it. Currently, the developers are working on a sequel that keeps most of the multiplayer elements. There’s a couple of things that make it pretty clear that no, Overwatch isn’t getting anywhere anytime soon. Overwatch League is also a big thing. Whenever it’s played, stadiums are packed to capacity and it attracts a lot of people. Basically, Overwatch League not dying anytime soon isn’t going to happen.

It may make you wonder why people keep ranting about how Overwatch is dying or dying. Most of this is due to people overreacting to minor problems with Overwatch, which aren’t really that big of an issue.

Overwatch’s biggest problems in 2021

Overwatch is having a tumultuous year in 2021. The problem isn’t dead, but if it isn’t fixed for a long time, it could lead to its demise. Here are the most important factors:

Overwatch problems with development staff

Activision Blizzard games are facing a lot of problems right now due to the ongoing turmoil and fallout caused by their developers and management team. The damage appears to have been minimal to Call of Duty. However, they brazenly claim to be unaffected as one of the games was developed by only one division of Activision Blizzard. Overwatch has gotten the most attention, though. This doesn’t mean Competitive Overwatch is dead, but it can lead to problems down the road.

We’ve already lost the director of the upcoming sequel due to a mysterious incident. Unexpectedly, it has been revealed that a recently disgraced employee of Blizzard inspired the name of a character in Heroes of the Storm. Due to this, some casters aren’t talking about the character. The fact that Blizzard hasn’t been very open about how they’re fixing things hasn’t helped the idea that Overwatch is dead.

It’s no secret that Activision and Blizzard are at odds, and that’ll probably result in a lot of delays for Overwatch in the future. All this means a lot of turnovers and a clear financial impact for the company. Overwatch isn’t going to get back on its feet anytime soon with that. Moreover, it’s hurting the game’s popularity from a PR standpoint, which is especially hurtful during a low-engagement period for the game anyway.

Overwatch League has a sponsorship issue

Within a short period of time, the Overwatch League became one of the biggest esports success stories in history. With the speed at which it grew, it became an esports juggernaut in a very short period of time. But things seem to be slowing down just as fast now. The League isn’t doing well, and the revised format hasn’t made much difference after a few weeks. Additionally, it’s losing sponsors to the point where it’s losing money. The fact that Overwatch is on the verge of bankruptcy is probably the biggest clue.

Due to Activision Blizzard’s ongoing crises, a growing number of companies are avoiding them. This trend is continuing with Overwatch. This must be having a huge impact on the Overwatch League.

Despite the commitments to franchise holders of OWL teams, it doesn’t seem like the League could shut down anytime soon. It looks like things aren’t looking too bright, so it’s likely that the Overwatch League won’t start with much pomp and circumstance until Overwatch 2.

Playing in-game – frustrations and problems

Overwatch has some aspects that don’t seem very well developed. What you get is a multiplayer shooter. That’s all you’re expecting to receive. For a long time, the game has been criticized for catering exclusively to esports fans and players, which makes it frustrating to play online for casual players. This problem hasn’t improved, it’s only getting more complicated. This is causing a huge queue time, as well as some other issues internally. Overwatch won’t be getting any more updates for a while, so these problems will remain.

The game is still getting updates with skins and ‘events,’ but they are actually just rehashes of past events. I don’t really think that there’s a worthwhile reason to keep playing Overwatch until the sequel comes out. Queue issues like this are only going to get more serious.

What’s the word on Overwatch 2?

Many of Overwatch’s problems can be summarized by saying that it almost seems like it’s waiting for Overwatch 2. An upcoming sequel is supposed to reenergize the franchise. In spite of this, it seems like Overwatch 1 has been put on hold. There have been a lot of PR misfires for the title and the league, so for the first game, you won’t get much to get it started. Meanwhile, players and fans will have to make do with what they have right now. Does this mean Overwatch is doomed? I don’t think it’ll be that dramatic, more like a lull in activity. The League will keep doing business as usual, but it might slow down a bit.

One question you need to know about Overwatch

We’ll keep this page updated every year since the question keeps popping up on Reddit and Google. Since Overwatch launched in 2017, there have been ups and downs, and fans have been plotting its demise for years. But Overwatch isn’t heading anywhere. This game has stayed resilient and endured all this time. Are you sure it won’t be the same in 2022?

Let’s take a look at each entry of this title’s troubled past one by one.

For the first time, Overwatch eSports was dying last year

Three of the biggest Overwatch teams dropped their competitive rosters in 2017. In line with Blizzard’s frequent theme of organizations who have hesitated to invest in the popular shooter game, many of those who have previously invested wish to withdraw.

Over the course of 2017, we’ve seen a lot of organizations dropping out. It’s still imperative to acknowledge that the sudden departure of three teams in two weeks is worrying. Although Blizzard announced a recent boycott, it’s likely that there’ll be one soon until the company addresses the issues, which multiple teams have repeatedly brought up in their departure statements.

Blizzard’s sponsors and teams have been complaining for a long time that the game developer doesn’t pay enough attention to their competitive scenes, especially Overwatch.

A lot of them have said there’s not enough funding, a lack of proper structure, and a general lack of focus and interest on Blizzard’s part. It’s been addressed by Blizzard since the setbacks happened, and they’ve taken care of their concerns. In the past, there have been concerns about Blizzard’s level of support, but now everyone is satisfied.

In 2017, a lot of teams left Overwatch

The first of the three teams to announce their plans to quit Overwatch sponsorship was Ninjas in Pyjamas, who did it in early June. Even though the roster they had signed initially was very good, NiP stated that ‘the scene hasn’t evolved’ for investors, a concern shared by a number of teams, not just them.

Blaming Blizzard for their decision to stop investing is not only wrong, but it also sounds like passive aggression since you mention that other teams might do the same.

NiP: “We’re thrilled to announce that NiP is now joining the growing list of organizations that have defined Overwatch as something to watch but not to get involved in due to the uncertainty of the scene.”

Additionally, Evil Geniuses announced they’re parting ways with the Overwatch roster too. Though they publicly said that the org and roster had mutually agreed to part ways, we must ask, was that really the reason behind the breakup?

EG: “Evil Geniuses wants to stress that this isn’t the end of our competitive Overwatch interest, and we look forward to what this scene brings.”

LCDC, a team that left the scene last year, was the latest. LCDC blamed its poor performance at the Overwatch Contenders for dropping the Overwatch roster, but they also directly blamed Blizzard for the decision. LCDC says Blizzard’s previous management of the scene has been extremely poor and has done more harm than any benefit, a very harsh statement from them.

LDLC: “We decided to stop the story after our results during the Overwatch Contenders and Blizzard Entertainment’s decision to end the story, which doesn’t encourage clubs like ours to continue investing in this game.”

Was Overwatch League going to die in 2019?

In the history of Blizzard, Overwatch became the fastest-selling game to reach 20 million players. There are still about 40 million people playing this game every month, even though these numbers have plateaued over the past couple of years. Still, you should think about how much stock you’re willing to put into declining numbers. As part of Blizzard’s free-to-play trials, all those newly registered players are recorded as active members of the community, regardless of whether they played the game or not. As well as making Overwatch look busier, this practice may unintentionally inflate the player numbers, which may give the impression that Overwatch is declining.

Overwatch League matches in New York City sold out the Barclays Center in 2019. Interestingly, Overwatch is a bigger draw to these arenas than traditional sports. There isn’t a single reason why these crowds showed up to watch a dead game. Overwatch’s death has nothing to do with the huge attendance in the league.

It’s still one of the best-selling PC, PS4, and Xbox One games for Blizzard Entertainment. In 2019, the Overwatch League will continue to reflect this trend, with interest picking up again and the whole thing getting elevated to a whole new level.

As 2019 drew near, it became increasingly clear that Overwatch was no longer in its initial release window. There were fewer players finding the game for the first time and getting hooked. The game has been out for a while, so this is to be expected. Moreover, 2019 was marred by Blizzard’s scandals involving Hong Kong and Overwatch League. It’s not necessary to rehash these topics again, but there was a backlash. While the game bounced back from this scandal, this big scandal caused the announcement of a sequel to be rushed.

Overwatch 2 – Was Overwatch dead in 2020?

There will be a next-gen Overwatch game soon (Blizzard hasn’t announced a release date yet). A lot of updated features are coming in Overwatch, including a more developed PVE mode. Blizzard may, however, make the game’s multiplayer backward compatible in the future. Players will still be able to play Core Overwatch without missing out on anything, no matter what changes are made.

I think this is a weird move for a sequel. Overwatch 2 is basically a glorified DLC covering the story mode of the original game. That doesn’t mean Overwatch is dying, in my opinion. I’m thinking Blizzard might want to refresh the game a little bit or boost its exposure a little.

The introduction of a new generation of consoles also contributed to the sequel’s release. The next-generation consoles can also handle other games besides Esports. Overwatch, on the other hand, has always been a full-priced retail product. Overwatch is essentially a game as a service that’s being sold as a short-lived title. If players on the next generation of PlayStation and Xbox wanted to play Overwatch, they’d have to buy it again. It’s very likely it’ll have to be returned back at full price again.

Straight ports of the original game won’t appeal to players if that’s the case. You already own a game that’s nearly five years old, why pay full price for it? Although this may not be the main reason behind a sequel, it is a plausible explanation for why a sequel is coming now. In addition to Call of Duty, Activision-Blizzard is also porting Warzone and Modern Warfare to the upcoming consoles, which will clearly outlive the ‘spin-off’ game. This way, Blizzard can sell Overwatch on the next-gen platform without having to double down on consumers, and they’ll create a new burst of popularity that’ll get any players who missed it the first time around back in.

I don’t think Overwatch will die in 2020 since there is a sequel coming out.

Trying to figure out why Overwatch is dying

When people say Overwatch is dying, they usually point out that Blizzard Entertainment laid off 800 staff at the beginning of 2019. It’s believed that the main reason behind Overwatch’s decline is a stagnant player base. Hearthstone’s, World of Warcraft’s, and Hearthstone’s player base are all rumored to have stagnant player bases.

It is not uncommon for fans of a game to jump to conclusions based on reports from this. AAA developers have often had their working conditions portrayed as miserable in the past. In the industry, it is common to bring on large numbers of staff to work on one project for a short time before terminating them.

Regardless of why Blizzard laid off staff, there’s no doubt that it wasn’t because Overwatch lost a few players for a few months.

For a short time, this much staff is required to only manage server maintenance for large numbers of players. Rather than that, layoffs are part of any large developer scaling up or down based on how many games they are working on at any given time.

Could VALORANT be the one that kills Overwatch?

In case you’re wondering whether Overwatch will be dead in 2020, you’ve probably seen all the fuss around Valorant. When this game started trending on Twitch, a number of content creators and players said they were switching from Overwatch to Valorant. Despite this, there’s some reason to be skeptical. In terms of gameplay, it is similar to Overwatch, but it has influences from other games and a unique gameplay system. It’s like a cross between Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Overwatch. Still, it’s still very early, so it might not be as popular as people think. The esports business is so big that players can bet on their own performances on sites like Unikrn UMode. This is probably substantial enough to support both Overwatch and Valorant.

Overwatch will keep winning, but Valorant won’t be able to stop it. In a few weeks, the Overwatch power rankings might change due to players jumping ship, although not all of them will. Overwatch League games regularly fill the biggest stadiums in the world and attract lots of people to Overwatch betting sites. However, it’s worth worrying about Valorant displacing Overwatch if it can draw such crowds and interest.

However, there’s no doubt that the whole “Is Overwatch Dying?” debate started because a few very vocal players decided to voice their opinions. It might make a lot of noise on Reddit and the Blizzard forums, especially in the echo chambers of sites like Reddit. However, in the real world, we all seem to enjoy Overwatch as it is, no matter how it is.

Blizzard needs to do a few things to save Overwatch sports

While Overwatch isn’t dying, there are definitely things Blizzard can do to keep their player base and keep attracting fresh ones. Fans can’t wait for Overwatch 2.0, with new maps, new heroes, and some seasonal events, and we can’t wait for the official release date.  Overwatch fans say Blizzard would benefit greatly from more community involvement in its development. Lead developer Jeff Kaplan kept us all in the loop during the Overwatch beta testing, but as time went on, updates became scarcer, and the isolation fans felt quickly became that ‘toxicity’ everyone complains about. In the beginning, I thought Overwatch’s habit of releasing updated versions of the game regularly was great. However, constantly having to download and install patches became a bit tedious after a while, and it quickly became obvious this was just another money-making scheme.

It would be nice if Blizzard just fixed this and didn’t pursue the ill-fated route of a solo story mission or a mobile Overwatch. As with Overwatch, this experimental feature quickly turned out to be useless, as every time it was implemented, it had a negative impact on the release of new updates. Additionally, they could provide their players with more stats to improve the system. It’s pretty easy to keep track of the opposing team’s movement. However, it’d be nice if we knew how much healing is done. This holds true for DPS and tanking as well. It’s easy to see why Blizzard Entertainment’s Overwatch game is smashing sales numbers. Nonetheless, the fact that people have been asking if Overwatch is dying since the day it was released does raise some serious questions about the future of this first-person shooter.

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