Blizzard reveals that its new multiplayer shooter, Overwatch, had a hugely successful launch, as 7 million people played it within its first week on sale.
Although Blizzard’s new IP Overwatch launched in May, up against stiff competition from DOOM and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, the colorful shooter still seemed to have everyone talking. Not only did critics massively praise the new multiplayer title, with reviews calling it “amazing” and “the new gold standard for multiplayer shooters” among other positive exclamations, but it also got a huge boost from Conan O’Brien’s Clueless Gamer series, when the late night host enthused about the game alongside two Game of Thrones stars.
According to new statistics released by Blizzard, all of this positive publicity has more than paid off. The company has now revealed that during the game’s first week of availability (across PC, PS4 and Xbox One), Overwatch was played by more than 7 million people. And although it should be noted that that doesn't necessarily mean that 7 million copies of the game have been purchased (multiple accounts can be used with a single copy of the game), that’s still an impressive figure.
Moreover, Blizzard states that these 7 million players racked up a whopping 119 million hours of gameplay between them, which means that over 13,773 years of Overwatch have been played already. Alongside that stat, Blizzard reveals that players have swapped heroes 326 million times and 11 million payloads have been delivered - both good signs that players are learning the game's systems and, as Blizzard hopes, settling in for the long-run.
What Blizzard has not disclosed, however, is how much money it has made from the game. In addition to the actual purchase of the game itself, Overwatch players can also purchase microtransactions. Again, while there are no official numbers on how many microtransactions have been purchased, the fact that people are even enjoying watching videos of Overwatch loot box openings is perhaps a positive sign.
In a statement, Blizzard co-founder and CEO Mike Morhaime says that, “over the months and weeks leading up to release we saw a lot of love and support for Overwatch - from Blizzard gamers, FPS fans, and people who'd never picked up a game like this before.” He also stresses that the company is “very grateful” for everyone’s “incredible passion and enthusiasm.” Morhaime adds that “we poured a lot of effort into creating a game - and a new universe - that anyone could enjoy” and that “we're ecstatic to have had such a successful launch, and we're looking forward to all of the fun, competition, and new content still to come.” Some of this new content includes Overwatch’s Ranked Play mode, which is scheduled for a return in late June.
Overwatch is out now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.