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Overwatch

Last Updated August 20, 2022

Developed and released by Blizzard Entertainment in 2016, Overwatch is a cooperative, multiplayer first-person shooter video game. As a "hero shooter," Overwatch divides gamers into a couple of teams of 6 players, with each player choosing a character from a lengthy list of "heroes" with exceptional skills. Teams compete to do tasks particular to a map in a set amount of time. 

After the game's initial release, Blizzard released new maps, game modes, and characters for free; the only additional expense for players was the purchase of optional loot boxes for cosmetic goods. It became available for the Nintendo Switch in October 2019 and the Windows, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 in May 2016. In March 2021, an improved performance update for the Series S and Xbox Series X was made available. All platforms enable cross-platform gaming.

Blizzard's fourth big property, Overwatch, was created after Titan, a large-scale online role-playing game, was shut down in 2014. A segment of the Titan team was motivated to develop a hero-based shooter that prioritized collaboration by the success of online multiplayer battle games and the popularity of first-person squad shooters like Team Fortress 2. As a result, overwatch incorporates specific ideas from the abandoned Titan project.

At the BlizzCon 2014 convention, Overwatch was announced. From late 2015 until early 2016, it was in a closed beta. Before release, an open beta attracted around 10 million players. The game's accessibility, the diversity of its hero characters' appeal, cartoonish graphic style, and fun gameplay won Overwatch widespread acclaim from critics. 

Within the initial year of its release, Blizzard reported more than US$1 billion in revenue, and after three years, it had more than 50 million players. With multiple games of the year, honours and other recognitions, Overwatch is regarded as one of the best video games ever created. In addition, the game is a well-known esport, and Blizzard sponsors and organises the Overwatch League worldwide.

Overwatch 2 is a follow-up that was revealed in 2019 and went into beta in 2022. The player vs player element of the video game is free-to-play, bringing new characters, maps, and game modes while retaining all cosmetic products from Overwatch. Later, a cooperative multiplayer option with player vs environment (PvE) will be made available.

Gameplay

Overwatch is a first-person shooter-style online cooperative game that is popular today. The game has various types, but its main focus is squad-based fighting between two rival teams of six members. Players choose one of more than two dozen premade hero characters from any of three different classes: Damage heroes, who deal the majority of damage when attacking or defending control points; tank heroes, who can take a lot of damage; and Support heroes, offer healing or other fanatics for their teammates. 

Each hero has a distinct skill set that includes their primary attacks, their running speed and health points, several active and passive abilities, and an ultimate skill that can only be utilised after being charged by causing damage to foes and healing allies. Players can switch between heroes throughout a game since one of the design principles behind Overwatch was to promote adaptable, dynamic team combinations. Due to the game's focus on individual characters and classes, some critics have referred to the game's genre as a "hero shooter."

The game includes modes for competitive ranked play, casual play, and supporting esports events like Blizzard's Overwatch League. These game variants typically involve transporting cargo between places on the map or successively establishing control of sites on the game map, with one side assaulting and the other defending. Capture-the-flag, solo and squad deathmatch, and unique modes only available during particular seasonal events are different game types designated for casual play. 

With a few scripting tools, more recent versions have allowed players to design their game types. Players level up regardless of whether they win or lose a battle, and when they do, they earn loot boxes filled with cosmetic items they may use to change their hero characters' appearance without changing the gameplay. Microtransactions can also be used to buy loot boxes.

Plot

The Overwatch background is explained through animated films and other materials published by Blizzard to promote the game.

A fictionalised Earth's future of 60 years, 30 years after the conclusion of the "Omnic Crisis," is the setting for the video game Overwatch. Humanity had a golden era of affluence and technological advancement before the Omnic Crisis. "Omnics," artificially intelligent robots created by humans, were used to attain economic equality and start receiving respect on their terms. When the automated "omnium" factories that created them started developing several deadly, antagonistic robots that assaulted humanity, that is when the Omnic Crisis began. 

Initial responses came from several programmes devised by separate nations. For example, the United States created the Soldier Enhancement Program to create elite fighters, while Germany put together the Crusaders, who resembled knights. The United Nations swiftly established Overwatch, a global task force integrating several distinct initiatives, to battle this menace and restore order when these measures proved ineffective in fending off the Omnics.

Jack Morrison and Gabriel Reyes, two seasoned troops from Soldier Enhancement Program, were assigned to oversee Overwatch. However, Overwatch was able to end the artificial revolt and made many outstanding people more visible, and a breach formed between Morrison and Reyes. 

Reyes was given control of Overwatch's covert actions division, Blackwatch, while Morrison became its leader. Blackwatch's mission is to combat terrorist groups like Talon, which appears to be attempting to start a Null Sector, and the second Omnic Crisis, a group of Omnics who rebelled against the civilization that persecuted Omnics after the first Crisis. 

As the squad grew larger, Overwatch was able to keep the peace for several decades during what became known as the "Overwatch Generation." Still, the conflict between Reyes and Morrison became worse. Several accusations of misbehaviour and shortcomings against Overwatch caused a public uproar against the group and internal strife, which prompted the UN to look into the matter. During this, an explosion allegedly killed Reyes and Morrison, among others, and destroyed the Overwatch headquarters in Switzerland. The Petras Act, enacted by the UN, banned any Overwatch-like activities and dissolved the Overwatch system.

Development

Titan, a massively multiplayer role-playing online game that had been in production for almost seven years, was cancelled by Blizzard in 2013, leading to Overwatch's creation. A tiny group of roughly 40 individuals, led by director Kaplan, were entrusted with developing a fresh idea for a game in months. Most of the others allocated to the project were moved to other departments inside Blizzard. 

After considerable thought, they decided to create a heroic team-based shooter that would build on the popularity of multiplayer online combat arenas and titles like Team Fortress 2. This was the first new piece of highbrow property that Blizzard has created since StarCraft, and they began with assets made for Titan to show the proof of concept.

Reception

Overwatch received pre-launch publicity before its debut, which is not generally the case. But, according to Game Revolution, "[Overwatch's] notoriety has swiftly penetrated across cyberspace, grabbing interest from those who may not typically plop down $40 to $60 every time a brand-new first-person shooter arrives," The open beta of the game, which drew 9.7 million participants, received extensive media coverage.

When it was first released, Overwatch got "universal praise," claims review aggregate Metacritic. "Overwatch uses just about every conceivable chance to make its destinations and cast appear like places and people rather than scenery and puppets," said IGN's Vince Ingenito in a review of the game's maps and characters. The game provides a "great online experience that puts you into games fast and reliably," Ingenito continued. 

Andrew Webster of The Verge praised Overwatch and its predecessors Splatoon and Titanfall as "courteous online shooters" that can accommodate both novice and casual gamers who may not want to become experts but can still compete effectively with others and expert players who can use the numerous heroes to make adjustments to the dynamic strategies of the game. The atmosphere of Overwatch, according to Webster, is one of the reasons why the game is approachable.

Despite giving the game a generally good review, the online magazine Inverse identified several flaws that the game's development team should address, including the balancing of McCree, teams with only one player, problems with matching, and the Play of the Game. In addition, the choice by Blizzard to leave the tale out of the video game, which left gamers "with a fantastic game, a wonderful story, and no means to reconcile the two," drew criticism from Gabe of Digital Trends.

Sales

Blizzard announced that over seven million people had played Overwatch as of one week after its release, clocking 119 million hours in total; by the middle of June, Blizzard announced having over 10 million users and stated that the player population had been growing, reaching 60 million gamers by April 2021. 

According to the NPD Group, a company that tracks the video game industry, Overwatch was the third highest retail video game in the US in May 2016, the month of its debut, and it was the best-selling game in June 2016 (note: excluding digital purchases through Battle.net); It was later revealed by the NPD Group to be the seventh-highest grossing game in the US for the year of 2016 (excluding purchases on Battle.net). 

In addition, Overwatch has the fastest digital sales during its first month of release. SuperData Research shows Overwatch generated over $269 million worldwide digital sales in May. In addition, the game was the highest earning game for desktop computers in 2016, with more than 565 million U.S. dollars in sales on desktop computers.

Overwatch was the ninth product held by the corporation to achieve this milestone, according to Activision-quarterly Blizzard's results report for Q1 2017. By selling a unique pink-coloured Mercy skin with all sales going to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation in 2018, Overwatch could earn nearly $12.7 million for the organisation. Additionally, SuperData estimates that by July 2019, Overwatch has surpassed a billion dollars in total in-game expenditure.

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