One of the biggest games of the year is off to a rocky start, to say the least. Overwatch 2 — its sequel Colorful multiplayer shooter of 2016 — is cut from the same cloth, extending the lifespan of Blizzard’s blockbuster hit without reinventing the wheel.
But since Overwatch 2 launched on Tuesday, it’s been beset by problems, including a DDoS attack that cratered launch-day play. “Unfortunately we are experiencing a massive DDoS attack on our servers,” Blizzard Entertainment president Mike Ybarra confirmed on Twitter yesterday.
Even players who managed to get onto the servers had issues, including being kicked out of matches and other kinds of instability on launch day that made playing difficult if not impossible.
Blizzard’s Overwatch game director Aaron Keller issued an update on Twitter on Wednesday, but things weren’t much better. According to Keller, a second DDoS attack is in the works and the servers are still not stable.
We haven’t played the Overwatch sequel yet here at TechCrunch, but once the issues are ironed out, we’ll take a proper look at it and see what the revamped game is like. Overwatch 2 will be released on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch and PC and will offer cross-play so you can team up with friends on whatever platform they are on. A smooth multiplayer experience has always been one of the things Blizzard does best, and Overwatch is historically no exception.
Anyone who played Overwatch — like, ahem, me, for hundreds of hours in the winter of 2016 — will see some notable changes in its successor. For one, teams now consist of five heroes instead of six, changing the composition of teams. New heroes and quality-of-life features are also on the way, including the controversial option to make Overwatch 2 free-to-play. Of course, free play is a double-edged sword — you don’t I have pay over a monthly sub-fee or whatever to play the game, but you can be sure that Blizzard will entice players to pay for a Fortnite-style battle pass that banishes certain characters and offers cool perks and cosmetics (that don’t we will want to want but we I will).
We’ll reserve judgment on all of these until we’ve had a chance to dive into Fortnite’s colorful, hero-driven battlegrounds, peppered with a touch of storytelling here and there. These games last for ages – Overwatch itself did a solid six years. Some chaos on launch day isn’t ideal for Blizzard (especially given its own messy corporate mess), but there’s plenty of time to smooth everything out for one of the most iconic multiplayer and esports titles of the generation.