‘Overwatch 2’ launch causes mixed fan reactions

Victoria Bissette, Entertainment Editor

The first “Overwatch” video game launched in 2016 but has recently closed its servers to 9 million monthly players due to Blizzard’s launch of “Overwatch 2” on Oct. 4. Fans met the launch with criticism and backlash concerning the state of “Overwatch 2.”

“Overwatch 2,” the successor to “Overwatch,” is a free-to-play first-person shooter game focused on team combat. Players select a character with unique skills and attributes and play on a team of five players matched against another group through a queue.

Art by Chris Daniel

Fans such as Gavin Ingram, a GHC film major on the Cartersville campus, highly anticipated the release of “Overwatch 2.”

“I was there during the opening launch with all my friends on a call ready to play our first matches in the new ‘Overwatch,’ but we soon found ourselves more frustrated and confused,” Ingram said.

Players like Ingram found themselves trapped in the player queue of “Overwatch 2.”

“It took over a week for the queues to finally be fixed,” Ingram said. “But even after that, I found there were still server errors, where one minute you’d be in a match and then the next everything would crash.”

Players like Britton Tucker, a GHC science major on the Floyd campus, held out through the long wait time for matches.

“Since I kept up with the Overwatch League, I expected much from the game,” Tucker said. “I played during the launch, and despite the long queue, week-long account merges and not being able to play for a day, I think the developers did the best they could.”

Not all players were as forgiving as Tucker, reaching out in online forums to criticize the state of “Overwatch 2” during its launch. Blizzard addressed these issues in a blog post shared on Twitter by the company’s president Mike Ybarra.

“We know we have run into some significant issues,” Blizzard wrote. “Launching ‘Overwatch 2’ as a live service comes with amazing opportunities and challenges, both anticipated and unexpected.”

These issues exceeded long queue times as the game suffered multiple distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. These attacks overwhelm websites with fake traffic and disrupt a website’s intended function, preventing actual users from properly using the site and, in the case of “Overwatch 2,” playing the newly launched game.

“We’re steadily making progress on server issues and stability, as well as working through a second DDoS attack,” Aaron Keller, game director of “Overwatch 2,” shared on Twitter.

Following the complaints and corrections to server issues, Blizzard released a forum to reveal to fans and track the updates made to “Overwatch 2.”

The launch and changes in “Overwatch 2” have some advantages according to Tucker.

“Two has succeeded at making ‘Overwatch’ feel fun again after three years. The reduction of CC (Crowd Control) is such a wonderful change.” Tucker said.

“The game looks and feels better, characters have new designs, and they’ve added in a battle pass and charm system to give your character and weapons more character,” Ingram said. “In the end, we’re still going to play for the enjoyment.”

At the game’s core, it is still “Overwatch” that players new and old can find fun playing.

“Even after the rough launch and the server glitches, it’s still ‘Overwatch,’” Ingram said. “It’s the game you’ll come home to and gather a group of friends to sit down and play together.”