Overwatch may have only launched last week, but there are already over 7 million registered players. That’s according to Blizzard CEO, Mike Morhaime.
“Over the months and weeks leading up to release we saw a lot of love and support for Overwatch—from Blizzard gamers, FPS fans, and people who’d never picked up a game like this before—and we’re very grateful for everyone’s incredible passion and enthusiasm,” Morhaime said. “We poured a lot of effort into creating a game—and a new universe—that anyone could enjoy. We’re ecstatic to have had such a successful launch, and we’re looking forward to all of the fun, competition, and new content still to come.”
7m players is a bit short of of the 9.7m players who took part in the game’s Open Beta last month. But the Beta was free – the full game is not. Of course, 7m players isn’t the same as 7m copies sold – many console players in the same household may be sharing a copy (on PC, Overwatch is tied to your personal Battle.net account). But it’s still an impressive number.
And it seems that those 7m players have been enjoying themselves rather a lot. According to Blizzard, 119 million hours have been spent playing the game. Heroes have been swapped 326 mmillion times, and over 11 million payloads have been delivered.
What’s next for Overwatch? Well, after some brief confusion earlier this week, Competitive Mode will be added to Overwatch sometime near the end of June. Also, principal designer Geoff Goodman shared some of his thoughts this week, discussing possible balance changes to heroes. Top of the agenda at the moment appears to be tweaking McCree’s Fan The Hammer ability to make it slightly less powerful, particularly when used in combination with his Flashbang. Changes to D.VA were also mooted, though no specific thoughts were shared other than the fact that it’s unlikely Blizzard will increase her damage to any significant extent.
Overwatch is rather brilliant, in case you haven’t played it yet. It’s the first time that Blizzard has created a multiplayer shooter, and they’ve managed to get it right first time.
“While some may turn their nose up at the lack of single player content, to do so would be a disservice to what has been delivered,” I wrote in my Overwatch review. “Fiendishly addictive, incredibly fun to play and overflowing with Blizzard’s signature surplus of polish, Overwatch is one of the most enjoyable shooters on the market right now – and a strong contender for Game of the Year.”