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PC Gamer
PC Gamer
Harvey Randall

Blizzard admits Overwatch 2's 'engagement and player investment' is in decline, while crossing its fingers for the Invasion update

Mercy from Overwatch 2, an angelic healer in tech armour, looks upwards in a baffled fashion.

In a recent earnings report, Blizzard celebrated Diablo 4's meteoric rise as its highest-earning game of all time, even while community sentiment around the latest patch hasn't been stellar

The report itself celebrates this over the span of four bullet points, even noting that net bookings for Diablo: Immortal have been at the "highest level since January." Overwatch 2 only gets one bullet point, presumably as punishment.

"While engagement and player investment in Overwatch 2 declined sequentially in the quarter, the Overwatch team is looking forward to the August 10 release of Overwatch 2: Invasion. This will be the largest seasonal update yet, planned to include new PvE Story Missions, a new game mode, and a new hero progression system as well as an additional hero."

When I think about the community response to the patch, "engagement and player investment" doesn't quite come to mind. As PC Gamer's Tyler Colp pointed out last month, the $15 price point mostly just pissed fans off. I've also written about the community's response to the news that these missions won't even be a routine, seasonal addition to the game. They didn't like that either. 

If anything, I'd wager while the update is sure to bring players back for a tinker, the invasion of these half-baked story missions will just serve as a reminder of what could've been.

(Image credit: Blizzard)

What might serve Overwatch 2 better, however, is that it'll finally be joining Valve's Steam on the exact same date, August 10. The report doesn't make any mention of Steam at all, though I imagine 'we're hoping our arrival on a competitor's platform will help' probably wouldn't go down well. 

That's not being completely fair. Blizzard's addressed the move separately, stating that it wants to "break down the barriers to make it easier for players everywhere to find and enjoy our games." And it is, in the light of the Overwatch series' fall from grace, a smart move. If you aren't playing another Blizzard game already, why go to the hassle of downloading a whole other launcher when there are plenty of killer free-to-play options on Steam? 

In light of its PvE missions being pricier, thinner, less frequent and shorter than originally promised, I just don't see them forming part of some sort of grand revival for the franchise. Still, I really enjoyed Overwatch back in 2016, and I desperately want it to find its feet again. It'll be interesting to see what Blizzard has to say the next time an earnings report rolls around.

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