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What Activision Blizzard Google partnership means for Overwatch players

Published: 13:30, 27 January 2020
Blizzard
Overwatch - Face Changer Sombra Lunar New Year 2020 skin
Overwatch - Face Changer Sombra

Activision Blizzard announced their partnership with Google recently and spoke about the relationship be good for the players in various ways but the benefits are just tangential. For example, latency changes will be good for viewers and not in-game.

Google and Activision Blizzard recently announced a multi-year partnership which also meant that the former company will get exclusives for the official competitions for the game from the latter. These include Call of Duty and Overwatch League, which may be an inconvenience for some but in reality, people are already switching to YouTube streams from the Twitch ones due to more possibilities, such as rewinding moments of intense actions at their own pace.

However, the announcement mentioned that the partnership mentioned Activision Blizzard "sought a partner to help enhance its gaming infrastructure, as well as deliver superior, low-latency player experiences". This could be misleading for many players.

Anyone who played Overwatch by now knows about the lightning bolt and square icons that just keep popping up on the side of their screen. The bolt means connectivity issues which result in Overwatch compensating by extrapolation and the square means players are experiencing packet loss. 

These keep appearing even with top-notch internet connections and as a result, players often witness a Reinhard charge first bumping them away only for Overwatch to change its mind and decide you were pinned instead. In other instances, the kill cam will show you managing to grab cover in time but the shot still registering.

Overwatch Lunar New Year

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

Hopeful players could think that Activision Blizzard's partnership could mean the end of such woes and further be mislead by the quoted statement above but the naked truth is that it will not. At least no in the near future. The only change in the short term will be experienced by the viewers of Overwatch League while the fixes for in-game issues may still need years to arrive.

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