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Overwatch 2 reaches 25 million players in 10 days

Despite its launch issues, Overwatch 2 has reached 25 million players over a week after its release.

Justin Carter

October 14, 2022

2 Min Read
Mei, Winston, and Junkrat from Blizzard's Overwatch 2.

Blizzard has announced on Twitter that Overwatch 2 has reached 25 million players in its first 10 days of launch. 

The free-to-play shooter released at the start of October, and had an initially rocky launch period. Its issues have ranged from multiple DDoS attacks to its SMS Protect system not letting players access the title if they used prepaid phone plans. In an apology post on its forums, Blizzard has already said that it's working on fixing the game's launch issues, and removed the SMS Protect for most existing Overwatch players. 

"We expected the launch of Overwatch 2 to go smoothly," said Blizzard last week. "We hold ourselves to a higher standard and we are working hard to resolve the issues you are experiencing."

Even taking launch issues out of the equation, 25 million players in a week and a half is impressive for Overwatch 2. By comparison, its predecessor reached 20 million players in October 2016, five months after release. In January the following year, it hit 25 million players.

Overwatch 2's journey is just beginning

Fixes may be coming to Overwatch 2, but what'll be more important to see is how being free-to-play fits the game and affects its player base. 

The changes that came with free-to-play resulted in some controversies prior to release, namely in how many games must be played to access heroes (both new and old). New heroes will release on even-numbered seasons, and will be instantly accessible to those who buy the premium battle pass.  

Additionally, Overwatch 2 would automatically buy skins from the in-game shop using premium currency when players used the text chat. Blizzard has since fixed the issue, though has yet to speak on if affected players will receive refunds. 

Some free-to-play games have seen success this year, others have had their issues. As 2022 comes to an end, where Overwatch 2 will ultimately fall on the spectrum is truly anyone's guess.  

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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