Blizzard’s ‘Overwatch’ beta could decide game’s fate

Blizzard’s ‘Overwatch’ beta could decide game’s fate

Blizzard announced on Wednesday that they will be inviting the first wave of beta testers to try out their newest first-person shooter (FPS) “Overwatch” on Oct. 27.



“Overwatch” is Blizzard’s first attempt at a FPS, so many fans of the developer want to be a part of the testing phase to get a first-hand look at the game. Gamers will have to sign up for their chance to test the game at first, but Blizzard plans on having open beta testing weekends in the near future so a larger number of people can temporarily play. Blizzard stated that they have “two primary goals” they would like to accomplish during the testing process.     


“First, get tons of top-notch feedback on the gameplay — including balance, feel and fun — to help make Overwatch the best team-based shooter on the planet,” said Blizzard’s website. “Second, we want to hammer the heck out of our tech, including stress-testing our server infrastructure.”


The beta testing phase will be an important step for more than just examining the game’s balance and the strength of their servers. If testers enjoy “Overwatch,” it could do wonders for their numbers upon the game’s release, but if it isn’t well received it could harm sales. Blizzard’s card game “Hearthstone” is one of the developer’s most popular games, bringing in over 30 million players a little over a year after its release. A big factor in the success behind “Hearthstone” is that it was well received in the beta testing phase, which brought in 20 million players only eight months after the open beta launched.



Following the release of the closed beta for Blizzard’s “Heroes of the Storm,” the company’s executives allegedly didn’t believe that the game would do well. According to an anonymous insider at Blizzard, executives said they had “low expectations” for the game, and thought its release would bring layoffs and a loss in profits. It’s unknown as to whether or not the game ended up being a success, as Blizzard has avoided releasing the number of “Heroes of the Storm” players.   


The release date for “Overwatch” has yet to be announced, and will most likely be decided based on the amount of problems Blizzard faces during the beta tests. It’s not too late to sign up for the first wave of testing, but Blizzard has stated that only Windows users will be able to take part in the beta.  


Will you try and be one of the early beta testers? Will their newest game be a success? Leave a comment or talk to me on Twitter @Karbowski_Devon.


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