The Number Of People Playing Overwatch Is Insane

(Image credit: Blizzard)

Blizzard's first-person shooter, Overwatch, came busting onto the scene with a lot of hype, a lot of interest and a heck of a lot of player engagement and retention. Well, the use of "a lot" doesn't begin to describe just how many players are actually engaged in the game, as the number of players is insane.

According to IGN, Overwatch now commands a whopping 20 million players from around the world. Just over two months ago reports were coming in saying that Blizzard's first-person hero shooter was servicing more than 15 million players around the world.

No matter what you think about the game, Overwatch is one of those titles that managed to become a smash hit thanks to its wide appeal, easy pick-up-and-play gameplay and the interesting cast of characters.

Some gamers point out in the IGN comment section that the 20 million figure isn't entirely an honest depiction of the number of people actually playing the game, though. 20 million registered players isn't the same as 20 million active players. In this case, the 20 million refers to the amount of people who registered for an Overwatch account and not the people actually engaged in the game itself. It might seem like pedantic nitpicking, but it does make a difference in terms of conveying the actual reality of the game's popularity.

For instance, some users make mention in the comment section that they registered for Overwatch, played it for a little while after it came out and then stopped playing because they felt it was "shallow". That kind of mirrors my own experience with Blizzard's first-person shooter. No rolling or dodging like Max Payne 3 means you just have to stand there and take the damage or hope a teammate shields for you (assuming you're playing someone who doesn't have a defensive ability); the lack of environmental destruction means you're not going to get constantly changing landscapes like in Battlefield 4 or the upcoming Battlefield 1; and there are no vehicles or asymmetrical NPC encounters like in Halo 5's Warzone mode.

The reality is that the gameplay of Overwatch is quite generic and limited for a game made in 2016, and the main focus is on the teamwork. For gamers who aren't familiar with shooter games that were out back in the late 1990s, early aughts or the mid-aughts, they probably think that Overwatch is a breath of fresh air, but it's basically a more character-driven version of Valve's Team Fortress 2.

Now if you enjoy Overwatch that's all fine and good. Some people like it, some people don't. There's no denying that a lot of people have actually registered to play the game, though. Even if the actual active user count is only half of the registered user count, that's still millions of people playing the first-person shooter which is only a few months old.

In fact, many developers would probably wish they could even get a quarter of Overwatch's registered player count to check out their game. With the new Halloween Terror event going on and a new character rumored for release, expect the player count to grow even more before the year is out.

Will Usher

Staff Writer at CinemaBlend.