One of 2016’s biggest games is still growing.
Blizzard Entertainment revealed today that Overwatch, its class-based team shooter, has surpassed 30 million players since launching in May of last year. The game has caught on with a huge audience on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 thanks to its dynamic combat and fascinating characters, and Blizzard has kept a huge chunk of that audience coming back by regularly updating the game. It also doesn’t hurt that the core mechanics of Overwatch are so strong that it earned GamesBeat’s Game of the Year for 2016.
Overwatch hit 30 million players after Blizzard announced 25 million for the game in January. That’s a healthy growth rate for a 12-month-old game.
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Blizzard recently introduced a new, limited-time cooperative mode where players have to work together to take on waves of enemy robots. But the Uprising event didn’t just bring new gameplay to Overwatch — it also delivered new skins and other items for players to collect.
Beyond continuous updates, however, Blizzard is also growing Overwatch through esports. The shooter has caught on with a huge crowd in pro gaming, and the studio is feeding into that scene by organizing its own, official tournaments and leagues. At its BlizzCon fan event, for example, Blizzard has held the Overwatch World Cup where teams representing various countries competed for gold.
Overwatch League is the culmination of Blizzard’s esports efforts. This new competitive-gaming organization will have teams based in cities, which is just like traditional professional sports associations. This could help keep fans engaged with Overwatch as people begin rooting for their local team and get the urge to do some damage as Reaper themselves.
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