Overwatch is a Team Multiplayer First-person shooter developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment. Described as a “hero shooter,” Overwatch divides players into two teams of six, with each player choosing from a roster of over 30 characters, known as “heroes,” each with a unique playstyle that is divided into three general roles that correspond to their purpose. Players on a team work together to secure and defend checkpoints on a map or escort a payload across the map within a limited amount of time. Players earn cosmetic rewards that do not affect gameplay, such as character skins and victory poses, when playing the game. The game was initially released with only casual play, but competitive ranked mode. , various `` arcade '' game modes and a player-customizable server browser were added after its release. Additionally, Blizzard has added new characters, maps, and game modes after release, all of which are free, with the only additional cost for players being optional loot boxes to earn cosmetic items. It was released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows in May 2016, and Nintendo Switch in October 2019.
Overwatch is Blizzard's fourth major franchise and came about after the 2014 cancellation of the ambitious massively multiplayer online role-playing game Titan. Part of Team Titan came up with the concept of Overwatch, based on the success of team first-person shooters like Team Fortress 2 and the popularity of online multiplayer battle arena games, creating a shooter hero-based that emphasizes teamwork. Some elements of Overwatch borrow assets and concepts from the canceled Titan project. Having set the tale of an upbeat Earth setting in the near future following a global crisis, the developers have sought to create a diverse cast of heroes spanning genders and ethnicities within that framework. Considerable time has been spent adjusting the balance of the characters, ensuring that new players can still have fun while experienced players challenge each other.
Overwatch was unveiled at BlizzCon 2014 and was in closed beta from late 2015 to early 2016. A pre-release open beta attracted nearly 10 million players. The game's release was promoted with short animated videos to introduce the narrative and the characters. Overwatch received universal praise from critics, who praised the game for its accessibility, diverse appeal of its hero characters, brilliant art style, and enjoyable gameplay. Blizzard grossed over $ 1 billion in revenue in its first year of release and had over 50 million players after three years. Overwatch is considered one of the greatest video games of all time, receiving numerous Game of the Year awards and other accolades. The game is also a popular esport, with funding from Blizzard and production from the Overwatch League World.
A sequel, Overwatch 2, was announced in 2019 and will feature new cooperative player-versus-environment (PvE) multiplayer modes. Additionally, it will have a shared competitive multiplayer environment, allowing players of both games to play against each other. Although it is sold as a separate game, brand new heroes, maps and competitive game modes will also exist in Overwatch.