Is Overwatch dying? That’s the question that many gaming & OWL fans have been asking over the past couple of years. A look at Google Trends has revealed that gamers have been asking if Overwatch is dying pretty much since Blizzard Entertainment released the game back in May 2016.
So what’s behind this trend?
Is it just an example of the gaming community working itself into yet another conspiracy theory, or is Blizzard planning to axe the hugely popular first-person shooter?
We’ve scoured the Blizzard forums, Reddit discussion pages, and every other nook of the internet to help you find the answer to this year’s big question: is Overwatch dying? Here are the ten possible reasons of varying credibility as to why the game might be facing an untimely demise.
1. Are California teams about to lose their Overwatch League franchises?
If you believe Google Trends, then it looks like most people who ask ‘Is Overwatch dying’ live in California. As a result, it might be fans of Los Angeles Gladiators or San Francisco Shock who are worried about their team being bought out by another Texas-based entrepreneur. Or it could just be the state’s recently passed legislation that legalized previously illicit substances causing a touch of gamer-paranoia.
2. Is Blizzard planning to close its Overwatch division?
Blizzard is well-known as being a cut-throat business. In February 2019, the esports games developer cut around 800 jobs despite posting record revenues the previous year.
While it might make little sense to sack the staff who produced the highly popular Overwatch, with the internet continuing to moan about the lack of Diablo IV, it could be possible that Blizzard is finally giving the public what they truly want.
3. Will Overwatch esports suffer the same fate as Heroes of the Storm?
Although Heroes of the Storm is a pretty good game, it seems that Blizzard wasn’t so sure. The developer decided to unceremoniously axe all professional esports tournaments for the game recently. Although this was met with howls of protest from HotS gamers who’d spent much of their lives playing this mediocre MOBA game, it should send a warning shot to all Overwatch fans.
4. Is Overwatch losing ground to the battle royale phenomenon?
Fortnite Battle Royale, Apex Legends and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds are undeniably the big hits of the past couple of years. Although there is no denying the fact that Fornite and Apex Legends are huge fun to play, the fact that a massively boring game like PUBG could become an esports hit is a little worrying. Maybe Overwatch needs to jump on the battle royale bandwagon to avoid getting killed off?
5. Will Overwatch be killed off to make way for Overwatch 2?
There are also ongoing rumors that Blizzard Entertainment is in the midst of developing a sequel to Overwatch. How this would work with the company axing half their workforce is anybody’s guess, but it would provide a simple answer to the question of ‘is Overwatch dying?’.
6. Could a dead Overwatch be reborn as a mobile-only game?
Few things annoy gamers more than when a classic PC or console title gets remade as a dodgy mobile game like the recent Diablo fiasco. Although mobile gaming is more popular than ever, for Blizzard to make such a move would surely be the biggest video game suicide of all-time.
7. Will Blizzard Entertainment kill off Overwatch in another BlizzCon publicity stunt?
Blizzard is awesome at shooting itself in the foot. BlizzCon 2018 definitely saw this when there was a monster backlash to the Diablo mobile reveal.
Surely the only way that they can better this is to announce that they are killing off Overwatch for no good reason this November.
Introducing Diablo Immortal – the first mobile MMOARPG entry in the history of Sanctuary, coming exclusively to iOS and Android. Pick up where Diablo II: Lord of Destruction left off and slaughter your enemies anytime, anywhere. pic.twitter.com/h1Ebe1Gurb
— Diablo (@Diablo) November 2, 2018
8. Is the Chinese government behind the death of Overwatch?
December 2018 saw the Chinese government issuing an order for “corrective action” to Overwatch. Although the game didn’t get banned, China’s authorities said that it had an “inharmonious chatroom” and promoted “incorrect values.”
So is Overwatch dying because Chinese state officials can’t handle Widowmaker’s cleavage?
9. Is Overwatch dying due to toxic gamers?
If you go on any Blizzard forum or Reddit page, then you’ll get a good idea as to why the world is facing total meltdown.
A section of Overwatch fans are definitely not helping matters. And as long as gamers continue to lech over Brigitte and Tracer, then Blizzard might just want to kill the whole thing off.
10. Is Overwatch dying of natural causes?
All games have a shelf-life and Overwatch is no exception. It might be tempting to think that Overwatch could last as long as Tetris, but it seems fairly unlikely.
So keep playing the game and follow your OWL Superstars while you can.