Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. has created god-like IPs and it appears they may be attempting to do it again with Overwatch.  Announced at Blizzcon 2014 – Blizzard’s own convention – Overwatch is built on “easy-to-learn” but “hard to master” gameplay in the format of a team-based first person shooter (FPS).  In reference to their catalogue,  Blizzard co-founder and CEO Mike Morhaime said that Blizzard’s titles take their favorite aspects of a video game genre and mix them with Blizzard’s own unique interpretation.  This approach is most easily seen in games like World of Warcraft and Diablo; taking components of their respective genres (MMOs and RPGs) and streamlining and expounding on them to huge success.

 

Overwatch also has potential as an eSport game.  It is an easy-to-learn, but hard to master, team-based shooter; this puts it in-line with Blizzard’s recently released Hearthstone, a digital variation of a collectible card game, and its upcoming Heroes of the Storm, a massive online battle arena game (MOBA).  These games are lauded for their low learning curve and incredible accessibility; something World of Warcraft perfected helping it reach over 12 million subscribers at its peak.  According to Blizzard, Hearthstone has 20 million players worldwide.  Similarly, Heroes of the Storm (which has yet to be released) received over 9 million applications from players wanting to get into the game’s alpha test phase.  These three titles all occupy different game genres, but all have incredible draw.  Considering its cooperative/competitive framework coupled with its accessibility it’s hard to deny its potential.

 

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Gameplay screenshot from PAX East, 03/06/2015

 

 

Though anything is possible, it is hard to consider Overwatch as anything but a guaranteed success.  Blizzard is known best for their games, but they are also notoriously consistent and thorough patchers.  Starcraft, Warcraft, and Diablo are all franchises that demand continued attention and augmentation due to the intricacies of their gameplay systems – in essence it’s the pursuit of a fantastic experience.  Blizzard has mastered this over their 26 year history and has made it their legacy; the tireless pursuit of their vision through continued product support and enhancement.  It’s hard to think Overwatch will be anything less than a great experience at launch, only improving over time to be a trend-setting titan in both eSports and team-based FPS’s.

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We’re watching you, Blizzard.

About the blogger

ccccccMy name is Trevor Shanahan and I am finishing my undergraduate degree in Marketing with a minor in Media Studies.  I am interested in video games and everything they touch (their industry, development, games as art, psychology of games – like gamification, industry issues, cutlure, etc.).  I have come to realize that the more I learn ( and learning is so important) the more I do not know.  Learn as much as you can about what you love and   try to give back to it.