Should Overwatch be Free to Play?
Should Overwatch be Free to Play?
Lately, we’ve seen the usual games on Twitch. There’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, there’s Fortnite, there’s League of Legends and Dota2… But not a lot of Overwatch. The game itself, Overwatch Esports betting, the tournaments, aren’t yet up to par to other Esports games.
On the Twitch’s most-watched game list, we have an unlikely leader – Apex Legends. It is a new game developed by Respawn Entertainment that hasn’t been around for even a month. What is the game’s secret? Well, amongst others, many speculate the key is their free to play policy. This, combined with thoughtful game design, exciting combat, and good marketing, gives a winning combination.
Overwatch has many qualities and was quite popular back in the day. However, at the time, we see it sitting at the 17th place on Twitch. Blizzard built a huge Esports infrastructure around this game but it looks like it is flopping. It is less viewed than RuneScape and Civilization VI!
Granted, not every game is fun to watch. But with Overwatch’s fast-paced action, flashy effects, great looking characters and maps, this should not be the case! Blizzard has invested huge resources into turning this into an Esports standard game. They equipped it with an international city-based team system. They gave it expensive large-scale production that runs out of stadiums in Los Angeles and New York.
It was popular for a time, attracting hundreds of millions of dollars in sponsorship and broadcasting deals. It even got exclusive licensing rights sold to Twitch and Disney. Yet after all this effort, far older games like LoL and CS: GO get multiple times the viewers compared to Overwatch. It just looks like Overwatch has not retained much popularity.
There is a big difference between a regular sport and an Esport. Just how much viewership can a game retain, if the popularity of the game itself is going out? Overwatch Esports betting cannot survive this way either. Soccer fans do not have to play soccer to stay interested, watching professionals is kind of the point. But with Esports, it is most probable that viewers have spent a lot of time playing the game themselves. This is what gave them an interest in watching professionals play, after all.
Therefore, what Blizzard needs is more players. How could they achieve this? Well, many say, by making it free to play! There have been some hints on this happening since the game’s price tag was steadily decreasing over time. By bringing more players, they are attracting more potential OWL viewers.
That way, they have the potential of reviving the entire Overwatch economy. Overwatch Esports betting could be more prominent, too. If you would like to take part in it, you can take a look here. On NitrogenSports, you can get Jackpots & weekly free bets.
By going f2p, it also gives Blizzard a chance to experiment with how the game will make money. They could add more hero skins, customization options for both characters and weapons, and many other cosmetic changes.
The studio said that they have a lot of new ideas for Overwatch and that the game we know is a small part of a franchise. This means that maybe future iterations of the franchise will not be so focused on Esports, and more on lore and narrative. Well, this is what Blizzard does best, after all.
Overall, By going free-to-play, the game could take on a new life by inviting everyone who had even a slight interest in Overwatch to finally give it a try. Will this help them save it? We will probably see soon!