What Overwatch Done Wrong

Overwatch was a smashing success upon release. The team at Blizzard went above and beyond the call of duty and brought us all a charming masterpiece of a game. 

 

From character design to gameplay, from world design to sound, each part of the game was intricately crafted to provide the best experience it possibly could. 

 

With that being said, the game has seen its popularity decline in recent times. Viewership is down, and players are beginning to sour on the title.

 

So, why is that? 

 

In my opinion, there are a number of reasons. 

 

Firstly, there’s the issue of quality over time. Overwatch’s initial roster of heroes had vast and expansive backstories that often weaved in and out of one another. This level of care and storytelling simply is not present in some of the later additions. 

 

Take Osiris for example, what’s his story? He’s an omnic that was recycled and now serves as a protector. Compare that to the likes of Winston, who was part of an experimental space colony of gorillas who rose up in rebellion, forcing him to flee to earth. 

 

Hell, compare Osiris to Hanzo and Genji, and you can see what I mean. 

 

Now, if you love Osiris and his story, that’s great! This is my opinion; you’re allowed to have your own. 

 

Also, I should point out that not all new additions have bad backstories. I, for one, love Sombra’s story, but the issue remains that, on average, the quality is simply lower than it once was. 

 

Then there’s the issue of the meta. For a large portion of the game’s 2019 season, the 3-3 meta dominated the scene. 

 

The 3-3 meta was a time when OWL pro teams comprised of three tanks and three supports. 

 

The result was slow and monotonous gameplay that was torturous to watch. You can argue that this alone is responsible for the decline in viewership and popularity. 

 

However, I am of the mind that these are all symptoms of a bigger problem, and that problem is that the buzz of the OWL is artificially created. 

 

Break it down like this. Grassroots Esport CSGO came from nothing. It started as a tiny, well-knit community playing tournaments for fun at events. Now, it’s a multimillion-dollar enterprise. 

This took years upon years to happen because the growth was natural. It was the same with Call of Duty. Overwatch has been around three years and has risen far faster than the other two. Why?

 

Well, partly because Esports is astronomically more popular now than it was back in the day, but primarily it’s because Blizzard has poured money into the product in an attempt to create artificial growth. 

 

Franchise spots cost in the double-digit millions per organization, sponsors can’t throw money at the product quick enough, and Blizzard is pumping even more funds into it to boot. 

 

What has resulted is an artificial climate of prestige and grandeur that Overwatch, put simply, has not earned, and I feel that the fanbase has suffered as a result. 

 

Potential new viewers who are familiar with other titles can, and do, find it off-putting, and that damages the game to no end. 

 

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