Overwatch 2 dropped on October 4th 2022, and since it was released, it has taken the gaming world by storm. For this outing of the Overwatch franchise, developer Blizzard pivoted to a free-to-play model, an operational change that was always going to bring in the numbers. As a top esports title and an extremely popular multiplayer-focused game, Overwatch 2 has already surpassed the performance of the first Overwatch title, but is there a true representation of the Overwatch player count?
Currently, the Overwatch player base is stronger than ever before, and that’s a claim backed up by Blizzard. Since Overwatch 2 became a totally free game, millions of players who wouldn’t have ever played it before have given it up and at least given it a try. There’s a staggering amount of growth there, but since the game launched, has the Overwatch player count dropped?
Back In The Day
When Overwatch was first released in 2016, it experienced a boom in popularity, soaring to more than ten million users in the first month. It was a monumental month for Blizzard, especially considering Overwatch was something of an experiment – a fusion between first-person shooter and MOBA-style games. It was a great success, and the Overwatch player count rose inexorably over a relatively short period of time.
Before Overwatch had even launched, the beta event had drawn in ten million players – but of course, the beta was free-to-access. Once the game launched (with its full price tag), the number had dwindled slightly, even if the core Overwatch player base remained strong. Reportedly, by January 2021, five years after Overwatch had launched, more than 60 million accounts had been created. While there was a noticeable drop in the Overwatch player count, it didn’t matter to Blizzard.
There was an entirely new Overwatch experience on the horizon.
Overwatch Player Count (2022)
Thanks to some of the biggest Overwatch tournaments taking off, there’s a vibrant competitive community at the heart of the Overwatch ecosystem. From Overwatch to Overwatch 2, millions of players live for the thrill of jumping into a game, equipping their favourite heroes, and doing battle across the diverse array of maps and modes available. Furthermore, there are plenty of Overwatch streamers that keep the game performing quite well on platforms like Twitch and YouTube.
Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to get an accurate figure when looking at the Overwatch player count. If we could, we’d muster up an Overwatch player count graph out of thin air, but the numbers just aren’t there – Blizzard simply doesn’t disclose that information. However, that isn’t the end of the discussion, as milestones and new records are actively tracked, and assumptions can be made.
For instance, in October, Blizzard revealed that the Overwatch 2 daily player count had tripled the peak of the original game. And, while it took Overwatch eight months to reach the twenty-five million player mark, it took Overwatch 2 just ten days to hit the same figures. It’s now suggested by Blizzard that Overwatch has an average active daily player count exceeding 920,000 users.
Once upon a time, critics of the platform were asking, ‘is Overwatch dying’, but with numbers like that, it doesn’t seem likely.
Esports & Overwatch Betting
If we look at the information pulled from the esports and betting side of Overwatch, we can further paint a picture of how well the platform is performing. For instance, according to escharts.com, the Overwatch League 2022 Playoffs (the World Championship stage) was the second-most popular Overwatch esports tournament in history. It was second only to the opening stage of the inaugural Overwatch League, played back in 2018.
As the best Overwatch players ascend the ranks, they’re bringing with them countless gamers that follow – or attempt to replicate – their journey. In some cases, Overwatch esports have quite literally made the careers of some of the biggest content creators in the world. For instance, xQc, who cut his teeth over a period of three years playing competitive Overwatch and building a following.
While it’s far from being the most popular title in the industry, Overwatch betting creates a unique opportunity for esports betting fans. There are some exciting markets to be covered, and Overwatch as a game remains as entertaining as ever to watch. It’s not CSGO betting, but Overwatch still enjoys high footfall where esports bets are concerned.