Overwatch is a multiplayer FPS game in which you have to capture the payload and push it to the enemies spawn. Released in 2018, this game managed to gain popularity in just 2 years. It quickly crossed the 40 million player mark in 2018. The players in Overwatch are worried if they are the only ones playing the game. Apart from that, the game received some game-breaking updates, which factored a lot in its decline.
Is Overwatch Dying? No, not particularly. Only, the game growth rate has been hindered a little. But as for the game itself, it’s growing enough to say that it’s not dead. We don’t have an exact measurement of the game’s growth because Blizzard has not released any game statistics on its platform. In this post, I’ve managed to get a chart of Overwatch’s growth for the past 4 years. So, let’s break it down to analyze the situation with good insight.
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Overwatch Player Count In 2021
Overwatch is released by a gaming company called Blizzard. This company has not disclosed any numbers for the player count on its platform. Moreover, recently in an interview with the director of Overwatch Jeff Kaplan, he revealed that the player base had crossed 50 Million users in 2020. In 2021, this number has raised to 53 Million players. This information can give us an insight into the growth of Overwatch. Overwatch is dying or not will depend on the player growth rate and esports scenario.
Moreover with the promise of cross platform support in Overwatch 2 makes it more interesting.
Following is the chart for the Overwatch Players Base Count –
Using this chart, you can quickly witness the growth of Overwatch until the end of 2018. In the span of 6-7 months, Overwatch was gaining like 5 Million players. This number was huge at that time. But as time passed, in late 2019 and 2020, this game started to receive less new players making a chart roof. As of now in 2021, there are new players coming to the came, but not as much as in 2018.
As you can observe in the chart, the game only managed to gain 11 Million users from the past 2 years. Although this chart explains a decline in the growth of Overwatch, it doesn’t imply that is Overwatch Dying to be true.
Overwatch Players Growth Rate in 2021
Growth Rate is referred to an increase in player count in a specific amount of time. The growth rate is a good measurement of the growth of your game. Overwatch’s growth rate was absolutely insane at the time when it was released. Furthermore, the Growth rate also helps to understand the future of Overwatch.
Following is the chart of Overwatch’s growth rate for the past 4 years –
As you can observe from the graph, the growth rate of Overwatch is extremely declining. However the decline from 2016 to 2018 is not that noticeable but in 2019 and 2020, the growth has reduced a lot. For 2021, it follows the same rise as 19 to 20. This explains two things –
- The number of new players coming in Overwatch is less in 2020-21 compared to 2016-18.
- The game has lost its recognition in 2019, 2020 and 2021.
This inference can help us to identify different factors responsible for the question “Is Overwatch Dying?”
Twitch Viewership Details For Overwatch 2021
Twitch is an awesome platform for streamers and game lovers. This platform is the decider of the game’s popularity. The more people love to watch the game on twitch, the more it grows. Twitch claims to have more than 15 Million monthly users who love to watch the streamers playing their favorite game. When Overwatch was released in 2016, it quickly grabbed first place on twitch. But soon later, the hyped died, and the game fell to the 6-7th place.
Following are the Twitch Players Statistics For Overwatch 2021 –
Overwatch Twitch Complete Statistics
This image shows information like Live Viewers, Live Channels, Rank, Avg. Viewers 7 Days, Avg. Channels 7 Days and Average Hours Watched. From this image, you can easily infer that this game’s live viewers are 19.6k in the past 7 days. Compared to other games like Valorant, League of Legends, and GTAV, Overwatch receives very few viewers. Due to the Corona pandemic, the average viewership has increased in Twitch. But despite such growth in convertible viewers, Overwatch is losing its viewers slowly (Overwatch is Dying).
Overwatch Twitch Viewers Graph 2021
This graph shows the number of average viewers for Overwatch. You can easily tell the difference between the number of viewers for the game in 2018 and 2021. The average viewership in 2018 and 2019 was above 35k, but as of September 2020, it has reduced to 18-19k viewers. As of January 2021, the graph is following the same results.
Overwatch Twitch Channels Graph 2021
Many streamers have stopped streaming overwatch in 2021. There are multiple reasons for this. The top reasons for this are the unbalanced meta changes in the game. Players are very frustrated about the unnecessary meta changes and have to adjust to a new tier list. This creates a totally new environment in Overwatch, but players need to practice the heroes they are not used to play. The other reason is being the release of other good games. In the past 2 years, many multiplayer games like COD, Escape from Tarkov, Valorant, COD: Warfare, and other games got released. These games where more smooth and competitive than Overwatch.
Overwatch Twitch Watch Hours Graph 2021
Every viewer loves to watch good content in any game. But overwatch failed to create good content from 2019. This resulted in viewers getting bored. Eventually, as you can see in the chart, the viewership fell drastically at the start of 2020. Although, 2021 has captured a 7% increase in its player base. Moreover, many other games that were more fun to watch created a decline in Overwatch’s growth.
Overwatch League’s Impact
When it comes to the esports scenario of Overwatch, Overwatch League has failed to create a good impact on the players as well as viewers. Overwatch League was streaming on Youtube rather than Twitch. This created a platform difference for the viewers, and it was the cause of less viewership.
As overwatch league didn’t attract more viewers, the common rosters began to pack their bags to get out of Overwatch esports. If fewer viewers are watching, this impacts the popularity of the game. Overwatch League never created a positive impact in teams if you compare to League of Legends or CSGO’s viewership during the tourneys.
Lack of Exciting Overwatch Events
During 2020 and 2021, many other games started to create new content. This unique content attracted many viewers from different games to play their game. In Overwatch, the devs haven’t made any significant changes to attract the players in general. Furthermore, when Jeff Kaplan revealed the Overwatch 2 trailer, the players assumed that the Overwatch is dead already. Rather than creating a sequel to the game, the devs should’ve improved the events in normal Overwatch itself.
In 2019, as CSGO released a new incredible operation called Shattered Web, it gained massive popularity, and the game was on top of Twitch for a long time. Overwatch also needs to create such unpredictable events to make the players have fun playing it. Despite releasing new events, the Overwatch teams only rereleased previous events with minor changes. This created a lack of excitement for new events.
Toxicity Issue In Overwatch
Toxicity refers to a bad attitude towards you in an online game. Every game has a certain percentage of players that are toxic no matter what. But Overwatch is special because it’s a new home for toxic players. The players are irritated by the toxic players in-game as Blizzard has failed to manage the toxic players. Unlike other games, in Overwatch, it’s doubtful to receive a ban due to toxicity.
I still remember a match in which I picked Tank for the team, and my teammate started yelling, “You are trash tank, never play it again.” Such events create a bad playing experience and can be one of the causes to make you leave the game.
Loss Of Gaming Organizations For Overwatch
In mid 2019s, many Overwatch gaming organizations stated disbanding their rosters to focus on some other game. One after another, almost every roster in NA was dead before you can do anything. Constantly changing meta and declining viewership made Overwatch League suffer.
Due to Covid-19, many esports org shifted to a firm game that will not lose its name during the pandemic. NRG, XLR2, Gladiators Legion soon announced that they would not continue the Overwatch rosters. Many players and coaches started blaming Covid-19, while others blamed the Blizzard for not helping and supporting continuing the organizations.
Apart from players, Overwatch lost desk analysts and commentators as well. The reason stated was Blizzard was not willing to pay them a market salary for their work. Furthermore, the broadcasts of the Overwatch League (OWL) were done in poor quality and without any good commentators. This issue reduced the number of concurrent viewers of OWL.
So, Is Overwatch Dying?
No. Every game has its ups and downs. Overwatch needs more time to adjust to all the changes all around the gaming world and adapt accordingly.
But, many players still love to play the game and still adapt their meta changes. Overwatch only needs one good event to make a comeback, just like CSGO did it in 2019. As there are no worthy competitors in the Overwatch game concept, it will still be alive for more than 2-3 years. Paladins, which was the only competition for overwatch, was reported as dead due to no viewership and no devs’ support. In short, our good old Overwatch is not dead yet and can make a comeback any time soon.
On the bad side, The reasons being the same, declining esports, losing viewership on Twitch, lack of new events, and toxicity. Together, they contribute to the decline of Overwatch.
Overwatch is a great game with a unique concept. Apart from losing viewership, it has no other issues to be that big enough to call it a dead game. So, let’s hope we receive a good awesome update from Overwatch soon enough!