Following a bumpy launch week that saw frequent server trouble (opens in new tab) and bloated player queues, Blizzard has announced that over 25 million Overwatch 2 players have logged on in its first 10 days.
“Since launch, the game has been reaching nearly 3x the amount of players per day as the previous daily peak for the original Overwatch,” reads the announcement.
Normally a figure this big isn’t too surprising for the launch of a major free-to-play shooter, but the road to Overwatch 2 has been anything but normal. Despite being branded like a whole new game, Overwatch 2 is largely just an expansion of the original game. Blizzard spent years trying to explain what the ‘2’ in Overwatch 2 actually means, leading to confusion and frustration (opens in new tab).
The skepticism around the necessity of Overwatch 2 deepened in the weeks leading up to launch as Blizzard detailed changes that original Overwatch players were destined not to like, such as the locking of new heroes (opens in new tab) behind battle passes, the introduction of expensive cosmetic bundles, and the requirement for new accounts to unlock old heroes over the course of 100 matches (opens in new tab).
All the bad news and the internet’s general distaste for Activision had many calling “dead game” before it even came out. Turns out, a lot of people are playing Overwatch 2, even blowing past the original game’s peaks. As we’ve seen with the relaunches of other formerly paid games like Rocket League (opens in new tab) and Fall Guys (opens in new tab), free goes a long way.
I won’t speak for all 25 million of us, but my friends and I have had a blast with the core design changes that made us all nervous when we first heard about them—5v5 feels pretty darn good, and the same goes for the new maps, Push mode, and new heroes. Our reviewer Tyler Colp is more critical (opens in new tab) so far, calling Overwatch 2 a “messy sequel that tries to erase one of the best shooters in the last decade.”