Overwatch has been struggling these past few years. Blizzard's shooter has been losing players and the Overwatch League has been declining in viewership. As Overwatch 2 kept being delayed for years and years (leaving Overwatch to struggle with no new content or meaningful updates), the community grew quite salty and disillusioned with the entire thing.
However, when the Overwatch 2 closed alpha and initial beta were announced, the previously angry fanbase began clamouring and and scrambling for access to the new hotness. It was almost like they forgot everything that had angered them about Blizzard and its handling of the sequel in the face of the sequel to Overwatch.
The first beta set incredible viewership records, with nearly 1.5 million concurrent viewers tuning in to watch on Twitch on launch day. This was partially due to hype surrounding the beta, as well as the fact Blizzard required four hours of Twitch viewership from fans if they wanted a chance to get a chance at a beta key. People wondered if Overwatch was back. Was all forgiven?
Overwatch 2 beta viewership sees significant decline
The second beta included a lot of balance changes to the colorful, lore-heavy shooter — some popular, some not so much. But the real news is how uninterested the gaming community has been.
According to SullyGnome, June viewership rose to a peak of a little over 98K when the beta went live. It has since dropped even more, dipping under 20K just a few days later.
This could be due to Blizzard's decision to forgo another Twitch drop for the second beta. But that proves what most gamers knew all along: People only tuned in to the first beta streams in order to have a chance at playing. Most were not even actively watching. When there is no opportunity to get into the semi-exclusive beta, nobody has any interest watching Overwatch 2 gameplay.
Overwatch is back to square one — it's just not as popular as it once was. Constant criticism of Blizzard's workplace and treatment of female employees is probably part of it, as is the decision to all but abandon Overwatch 1 for years as other shooters arrived on the scene (like VALORANT). And now, it seems, we can add the underwhelming sequel, which has been consistently seen as a glorified large update to Overwatch 1, to the list of disappointments.
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