Is Overwatch Dying in 2021? What is its Player Count?


Is Overwatch Dying in 2021? What is its Player Count?

Abhimannu Das
Published On: 
  • Is Overwatch Dying in 2021 now that VALORANT has gained a massive foothold in the casual shooter genre?
  • Blizzard is still working on the upcoming sequel but there is no confirmed release date yet and we are likely to not receive it in 2021.
  • Activision still continues to enjoy a healthy playerbase with a reported 10 million players still playing the game as of last year's earnings call report.

Is Overwatch dying in 2021 or is the entire player base simply waiting for the sequel? The game kickstarted a resurgence in FPS games once again back in 2016. Prior to the release of the Blizzard shooter, Team Fortress 2 and CS:GO were the only two long-running FPS titles. With the release of Blizzard’s shooter and Rainbow Six: Siege, we saw a string of competitive shooters launch but is Overwatch dying in 2021? Battle royale games and Valorant seem to have taken its place and there is less hype around the game than there used to be. Let’s take a closer look at the player count and if Overwatch is dying in 2021.

Is Overwatch Dying in 2021? 

Overwatch's Current Player Count

Blizzard Entertainment does not usually share details on its player count unless the games achieve specific milestones so there is no way to tell how many concurrent players there are currently. With the company releasing a report that 10 million monthly players still play the game in November 2020, Overwatch is not dying in 2021. But the hype around the game has definitely gone down. During its first year, the game boasted 35 million players which grew to 50 million players in 2018. But since then, battle royale games have been all the rage and it feels like Overwatch is Dying in 2021. 

Overwatch's Twitch Viewership has massively declined

However, we can somewhat estimate a game's popularity by comparing its viewership numbers on Twitch with its previous numbers. Overwatch's Twitch viewership metrics certainly don't paint a pretty picture.

Image Credit: Statista

The average viewership in Twitch for Overwatch has gone down drastically over the months. With a peak of over 47,000 viewers on the streaming platform in August 2019 during the Overwatch League, the viewership was around 20,000 across January 2021. Overwatch is dying on Twitch because of a lack of content and no new agents to shake things up. 

Will Overwatch 2 Save The Game?

One of the biggest contributors to Overwatch dying in 2021 is the lack of content. Since the announcement of Overwatch 2, the original title has been ignored. Blizzard entertainment has completely halted the release of new heroes and maps. During its initial years, players used to get three heroes and maps a year which kept the game feeling fresh. The upcoming sequel to the game was delayed which means that players are now waiting even longer to get access to new heroes, maps, and game modes. While it is unknown if Overwatch 2 will save the franchise, fans of the franchise will likely come back to the game to give it a go as the sequel’s PVP will be free for all existing Overwatch owners. 

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Abhimannu is a part of the content team at AFK Gaming and a lifelong obsessive gamer. He currently covers esports titles like VALORANT, CS: GO, Call of Duty, Fortnite, PUBG and more.