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Overwatch's financial slump continues as playerbase grows

Published: 22:26, 24 August 2018
Blizzard
Wrecking Ball a.k.a. Hammond, last hero added to Overwatch
Overwatch, Wrecking Ball a.k.a. Hammond

Peculiar things are going down in the land of Blizzard as Overwatch's revenue has been reported to be sliding, in spite of the fact that several free weekends and the addition of Hammond Wrecking Ball inflated the playerbase somewhat.

The report came the way of beancounters at SuperData, who claim that while Overwatch has managed to sustain a "consistent playerbase", it didn't help the game's year-over-year performance. Apparently, the game's results from June 2018 onwards aren't much different either.

To be fair, the same report says that premium PC was the weakest segment in the same time frame, which would at least ameliorate some of Overwatch's free-falling performance. Premium PC actually made 14 per cent less year-on-year, which is said to be the worst performance of all platforms.

On the other hand, consoles were found to be one of the key reasons for growth of spending on digital games and the last time I checked - Overwatch is available on consoles as well. This means that the issue goes beyond what standard market fluctuations could explain, which would be pretty sad for a game that raked in $1 billion in its first year on the market.

Granted, Overwatch is now slightly over two years old but Blizzard appeared to be doing not well - but awesome. They've managed to ensure that Overwatch League is featured on ESPN as a proper sports tournament, highlights and all, which is no small feat. Full disclosure - I'd have taken the bet that ESPN going for Overwatch simply ain't going to fly, had someone been smart enough to call it.

Even twitter jumped on the bandwagon lately, striking a deal with Blizzard for Overwatch streaming and highlights, which lasts until the end of 2019. On the other hand, with the platform already bursting at the seams from OWL highlights, you could say that the official signature is but a formality.

Blizzard Moira, Reaper, McCree and Genji are standing in their Blackwatch skins. Overwatch - Blackwatch

Ultimately, the only thing that makes sense is that Blizzard have pushed their Overwatch esports agenda at the expense of regular players. The company have added six heroes since Overwatch launched and while you could argue it's too little for a company of Blizzard's calibre, there are those who insist that balancing existing heroes is the way to go.

When it comes to other content though, Blizzard have added several tanker-loads of skins and other cosmetics to Overwatch, but that's obviously not doing the trick anymore.

You can find SuperData's report here .

Overwatch - Summer Games

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A man with an axe running through a forest in SCUM
Overwatch - Summer Games

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