Overwatch recently took the title of “Game of the Year” at the annual The Game Awards 2016. This has caused some controversy as to how a game with no campaign and few game modes could win over such opponents as Uncharted 4 and Doom. What exactly made Overwatch pull through?
One of the reasons that Overwatch could win is that it is a very attractive game for newcomers featuring controls and characters that are easy to pick-up and play with. The heroes in the game all have unique play styles suited to many types of gamers. It’s one of the first FPS games to give so much diversity of play styles and move-sets. The modes that are currently in the game are easy to learn. Most players can get started in Overwatch by playing a match or two in order to understand the basics of the game. For more experienced players the game also has ranked matching, and more quirky players can try out the weekly events that generally have them thrown into strange rules like everyone in the match having to play as Mercy.
Another reason for Overwatch’s big success is a phenomenal cast of heroes in the game. Each Overwatch hero has their own personality, design, and backstory to go with them. This gives players admiration towards the characters and their actions, making them more relatable characters to attach to. The cosmetics and taunts of the characters are also engaging and personalized. For example, the character Diva is framed as a world class Starcraft player and her taunts include the line “GG” which is a popular term used among PC gamers. The skins for characters are creative, bringing out their personalities with each available skin.
Finally, Overwatch has a different approach to the market with how it provides content to its players. Instead of releasing a game that has a all of the game modes, Blizzard has chosen to add content over time. They release free DLCs s with new modes, stages, and characters constantly added, and this will go on for as long as the game is supported. In addition, Overwatch has integrated seasonal events and items that players can earn during set times of the year. Early this year they hosted their first event with an Olympic theme in honor of the 2016 Olympics complete with added costumes. The ever-changing content in the game helps it grow in a unique way while refreshing players with different characters, stages to master, and cosmetics to earn.
Overall, Overwatch is a very well developed game meant to pull in a broad and untapped audience for the MOBA scene. The game has a massive number of players and is incredibly accessible to most gamers. Blizzard even takes things a step further with their free weekends that let gamers try the full game out completely free for a set number of days increasing their sales with each free to play session they give away. The wide reach and strategic set up is one that has refreshed the gaming world especially in the console gaming realm and has additionally tapped into previously untapped markets making it one of the most innovative games of the year.