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Overwatch 2 officially launched on October 4, shortly after Activision Blizzard shut down the servers for its predecessor. Now the publisher claims that 25 million people have played the new game since its launch, allegedly triple what the original game had in the same time frame.
Blizzard launched the new game on consoles and PC, with crossplay available at launch. The new title makes several changes from its predecessor, including going free-to-play, introducing a battle pass and switching from 6v6 gameplay to 5v5. It also has several new heroes not available in the original game.
Given that the original is no longer playable, it makes sense that a large portion of its players transferred to the new title. Overwatch 2 is also free-to-play, removing the barrier for entry present in the original game. It also launched on the Nintendo Switch, which Overwatch did not, adding yet more new blood to the player pool.
Overwatch 2’s players aren’t necessarily happy
A large portion of those 25 million players have experienced the many problems Overwatch 2 has had since it launched. To date, the game has had two major DDOS attacks, unstable servers and character bugs (including one that let robot hero Bastion bomb the daylights out of its opponents). Players have also complained about the game’s competitive ranking system, matchmaking and hero balancing.
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Other players are not happy about the fact that some heroes are locked behind the battle pass and thus inaccessible from the start — unless they pay to unlock them. While the game is free-to-play, Overwatch 2 gameplay requires flexibility with regards to which hero people play, meaning that those who can’t or don’t want to pay to unlock heroes can find themselves at a significant disadvantage.
Perhaps the biggest complaint has been that Blizzard has enabled a form of two-factor authentication that requires users to connect their account to a cell phone number. However, only phones on contract plans would work, rendering prepaid phones and VoIP plans unusable. Blizzard has since walked this feature back for (sort of) — though apparently it still plans to use it for at least some players of the upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.
Despite this, the game seems to be doing numbers — though this doesn’t mean that all 25 million of those players have consistently played the game. According to Blizzard, it plans to retain its users with post-launch content such as new heroes, maps and seasonal updates.
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