Blizzard Entertainment has announced that Overwatch, the company's team-based first-person shooter, has reached 7 million players. The game launched worldwide on May 24 for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 and players have already spent 119 million hours in-game. The critical reception has been good, with our own Kat Bailey saying the game "may well be the best new multiplayer shooter to come along since Modern Warfare and Team Fortress 2 took 2007 by storm" in our review.
"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-and we're very grateful for everyone's incredible passion and enthusiasm," said Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime. "We poured a lot of effort into creating a game-and a new universe-that anyone could enjoy. 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."
Overwatch, which was originally thought to be a free-to-play title, was eventually revealed as a premium game. (And the reception to that move has since led to other free-to-play titles turning premium.) Players can pick up the Origins Edition or Collector's Edition on any platform for $59.99 or $129.99 respectively. In addition, the game offers gacha-style Loot Boxes, containing a random assortment of skins, voice packs, and more, for various price points. All those players add up to sold copies and probably a decent number of purchased loot boxes.
The success of Overwatch is even more impressive given that the game was created from the failed development of Blizzard's Project Titan. What was supposed to be the next World of Warcraft never took a strong shape and Blizzard ultimately canned the project, funneling some of those assets towards what became Overwatch.
"You had a really amazing group that was working on Titan. They were really talented individuals, but we failed horrifically in every way ... In every way that a project can fail. It was devastating," said Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan told GameSpot. "
"Having that level of confidence shattered is shocking. But in a weird way, it was the most bonding moment for this group. It was kind of a crisis of confidence and identity, where you start to ask yourself, 'Did we lose it? Do we not know who we are anymore? Are we not capable of making a great game anymore?' I think a lot of us were asking ourselves, on an individual basis, that question. So when it came to move to Overwatch there was an extremely tight bond on the team and a ravenous hunger to show the world that we're not failures and we can make something really fun."
Blizzard has promised that Overwatch will see more characters and maps for free in the future, but the company has yet to detail any sort of release schedule.