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Overwatch 2’s Declining Player Numbers Are ‘Nothing Concerning,’ Blizzard Says

Overwatch 2 Declining Player Numbers

In its most recent Q2 2023 earnings release, Activision Blizzard reported that Overwatch 2 “engagement and player investment” had declined over the past quarter. According to Overwatch 2 executive producer Jared Neuss, the falling player numbers are “nothing concerning” and should be treated as “a normal ebb and flow of players.”

Overwatch 2: Invasion is expected to boost player numbers

Overwatch 2: Invasion is the game’s sixth season and launched yesterday, August 10. Amongst the new content is a new hero Illari, a new Flashpoint game mode, the premium Invasion story missions, and a new battle pass. During the same earnings release, the publisher explained how it was expecting the largest seasonal update yet to boost the lower player numbers. However, Neuss downplayed that this large season was some sort of do-or-die moment for the shooter in an interview with IGN and more of the team figuring out how to pace its seasonal offerings.

There’s this interesting thing about how we stacked a bunch of content on Overwatch 2 Invasion. We did that because we were experimenting with different seasonal structures, and one of the things we really wanted to try was, what if we just put all this big stuff, these awesome additions, and different expressions of the game together?

That really isn’t like a, ‘oh there’s so much riding on this’ kind of a thing for us. For us it’s really about, what does a good season look like? We’ve tried a bunch of stuff, right? We tried a very thematic approach with Season 5. We’ve tried different things in Season 2 and 3.

It’s less about, ‘is there all this stuff riding on Overwatch 2: Invasion?’ and more about, ‘what do we think is the right rhythm and cadence, and how do we create these big moments for players?’

He also went on to say the team isn’t concerned by what he considers to be the normal fluctuation in player numbers for a free-to-play game.

The declining stuff is basically, we are a free-to-play game and it is very easy to both come to the game and check it out, and to leave to check out other stuff,” Neuss said. “We see a normal ebb and flow of players. There’s nothing concerning to me or the team about any of that.

Unfortunately for Blizzard, player reaction to the game has not gotten significantly better with Season 6. Overwatch 2 launched on Steam on August 10 and quickly garnered an “Overwhelmingly Negative” rating from players. The most common criticism is the lack of the promised PvE mode, which was downscaled to make way for the smaller story missions. The cost of the story missions and limited ways players can unlock heroes are two other sizeable complaints being leveled at the sequel.

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