Blizzard hasn’t been very shy about celebrating Overwatch’s success. The company's already impressively-sized ego only grows more inflated as the player count does, and they’ve always been quick to let out a cheer whenever their total number of players hits a certain milestone.
Recently, another milestone was reached by Blizzard: over on Twitter, they revealed that they’ve hit 35 million players. Pretty good, right?
Well... I'm not so sure.
The thing is, Blizzard used to be far more forthcoming with the numbers of people playing their games, specifically during the heyday of World of Warcraft, when that was the biggest thing in the gaming world. In those days, Blizzard would proudly display the number of monthly subscribers they had, and awe as those numbers continued to go up, pushing past ten, eleven, or even twelve million. But that changed when, not soon after Cataclysm, World of Warcraft simply stopped being as popular. As subscription numbers went down, it lead to people gossiping about the end of World of Warcraft, which made people think it was dying, which caused numbers to drop even lower… cycles, you know?
At around 5 million monthly subscribers (nothing to sneeze at), Blizzard announced they would no longer reveal numbers of subscribers anymore, leaving us to speculate exactly how many people still play the MMORPG, although Blizzard has stated it’s “gone up”. As far as this Overwatch number goes, while it certainly proves the game isn’t done being a powerhouse, it doesn’t accurately reflect how many people are actually playing it, how many are just alt accounts, or how many people were just folks who signed up for free weekends.
Indeed, I wouldn’t be surprised if the number of actually active players are significantly smaller and Blizzard is just hiding that fact.
Still, if it’s just to celebrate getting more money, then congrats, Blizzard, you certainly did that. Have a cake. You can buy it yourself, though, given that you’re filthy rich.