Overwatch’s open beta has come to the end of its initial run, and the response has been remarkable.
Open betas are specifically for statistics gathering by the developers to see if their new game (the multiplayer component, mostly) is successful enough to make a name in the market and also to stress test for online servers not for bug hunting or glitch hunting. But in the case of Overwatch, the open beta program has been extended not to gather more information but because the gamers were having a lot of fun.
Extending the open beta period has turned out to be a resounding success for Blizzard, as it had more players for Overwatch open beta than Destiny, Star Wars Battlefront and The Division.
Overwatch saw more than 9.7 million players dive into its addictive multiplayer gameplay, which just beats out the 9.5 million Battlefront had during its open beta and completely eclipses The Division‘s 6.4 million and Destiny‘s 4.64 million respective users during their public trial periods. Clearly, it seems the gaming community has moved past the Overwatch Tracer butt scandal that briefly dominated news headlines a month ago.
Of course, it’s important to note that Battlefront‘s open beta was two days shorter, while The Division‘s was similarly three days quicker. That being said, however, neither of those games managed to spawn a massive player discussion around an OP character the way Overwatch‘s Bastion has, which speaks to the way fans have become invested in the game and want it to be balanced immediately.
While it may seem that the game has been inspired from Dirty Bomb, Team Fortress 2 and Counter Strike, both the games don’t have the trademark storytelling by Blizzard in the game’s animated shorts and the result has been fans picking their favorite characters before ever playing a match of the game. That kind of dedication, and the 9.7 million-strong playerbase that has already tried Overwatch, both seem only more likely to grow as the game nears its release date.
Overwatch will be available for PS4, Xbox One, and PC on May 24, 2016.
And I specially congratulate Blizzard for making the kind of characters they have. Yes, I love Tracer.