Overwatch

Unpopular Opinion: I really don’t understand the claim that OWL killed this game.

Overwatch9 - Unpopular Opinion: I really don't understand the claim that OWL killed this game.

Every time people talk about the 'decline' of Overwatch, they always talk about how the Dev's shifted their focus away from the game and instead towards it being an esport. And every time, regardless of the reasoning, I'm still baffled by it.

How exactly has it 'killed' the game?

Content has slowed

Content hasn't slowed in anyway. Overwatch has maintained virtually the exact same content release cycle for 3 years.

  • January – New map
  • February – Lunar New Year
  • March – New hero
  • April – Archives
  • May – Anniversary
  • June – New map
  • July – New hero
  • August – Summer Games
  • September – New map
  • October – Halloween
  • November – New hero
  • December – Winter Wonderland

This year has been the first time that cycle has ever changed due to Lunar New Year occurring earlier in the year. But there has not been a single month where we have not gotten new content of some sort.

Heroes are only created/balanced in response to what's interesting to watch for OWL.

Except we've seen the opposite of this. People complained for months about how Dive was too strong a meta, regardless of the OWL. People complained about how it would never changed because Jeff made the off handed comment about how he liked watching Dive. And lo and behold they came out with a hero who was completely build from the ground up to counter dive. If the OWL didn't exist, people would have praised the Dev's because they finally did something to answer everyones complaints. But instead because the OWL exists, Brig was only released because players were getting bored of watching Dive vs Dive.

Then building off of Brig, she was viable to the point that a meta started forming around her (GOATS). Players started complaining again about balance and meta. And so the devs started tuning her back, as well as tweaking other heroes. But instead because the OWL exists, she was only balanced because players were bored of watching GOATS vs GOATS.

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Players complained about how there were too many DPS heroes and wanted more healers. The devs released 2 healers in a row. Players wanted a mechanically complex tank. The devs released Hammond. They created characters in response to want the community asked for. But if the hero was in any way well received, they were only released to make the OWL more interesting to watch.

Lore has slowed down.

Two things: First, how exactly is the lore team affected by the OWL? How exactly are Michael Chu and the comic artists, people who do nothing but write and draw things, affected by the programming and development of things related to the OWL? Were they pulled off plot lore and told to write and draw comics related to the OWL?

Second: Lore slowed down well before the OWL existed. The OWL only started in Jan of last year. Lore had already significantly slowed well before that. The devs didn't spend all of 2017 giving up on lore in prep for the OWL. Because lore slowed immediately after the release of the game.

Their focus is on the OWL because it makes money

Overwatchs first year was plagued with people complaining about loot boxes and how Blizzard didn't care about releasing new content and only cared about how to shove buying loot boxes down peoples throats. Even though Blizzard took multiple steps to reduce the perceived pressure of this and make loot boxes purchases more of an after thought.

Then the OWL comes out and it's the same thing again. But something that has confused me about this and has yet to be explained to me: Wouldn't it be in the devs best interest to create more things, specifically heroes, so they have more products to push? Wouldn't the devs want to release more heroes at a faster rate because a single new hero means a slew of new cosmetics for the base game loot boxes and at least 20 new OWL they can sell? More emotes they can make on Twitch? Or even if they didn't want to release a new heroes, why have they limited the amount of cosmetics you can get? You can get a: home skin, away skin, and a Twitch exclusive skin. Why stop at 3 skins? Why not 5? Why just skins? Why did they give out the sprays for free if they only care about money?

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Seriously, I don't understand. Could it not just be that the game has been out for 3 years and that other games have come out in that time which has drawn attention away? Can it not just be that it's not that common that a single game being your sole primary game to play for 3 years?

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