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I’ve Stopped Playing Overwatch 2

Perhaps it was inevitable. Maybe it’s down to personal choice. Whatever the reason, the result is the same. I have stopped playing Overwatch 2. And there’s not much that could bring me back.


It’s not unusual to burn out on a game, especially one you’ve played for hundreds of hours. And across the two iterations of this franchise, I have put in a lot of time. And it’s still, fundamentally, a fantastic experience. Once a game starts, and it starts with the right team, there’s nothing else quite like it. I would recommend it to everybody.

But then you have to deal with everything else: the terrible progression, the non-ideal teammates, the missing maps. Mileage is always going to vary, and if the gameplay is good and you play with friends you’re going to have less issues. That’s, again, truer if you’re willing to pay.

At this stage there isn’t a lot to bring me back. The excitement of new characters is diluted by knowing you have to unlock them. It’s quicker, easier and less stressful to chuck on a couple of rounds of Call of Duty – and that’s why Activision is laughing all the way to the bank.

Call of Duty and Overwatch are very different games. You don’t chuck Overwatch on because you want a few quick rounds to destress. I’m not necessarily making that comparison. But it’s obvious that somewhere along the way Overwatch lost its ability to hold me in a way that it never used to.

Let’s fix that.

Fixing Overwatch 2

The biggest issue is the way that characters are unlocked. At the minute, it just feels like work. Either buy the character – not something I’m in a rush to do – or complete busywork and play for hours and hours to get access. There’s no carrot – it’s all stick. To get the new experience, I need to get back into the old one, which couldn’t hold my attention in the first place.

There are people who are far better qualified than me in the areas of game design and progression making these decisions. They will have their reasons (and those reasons will almost all be “we’ll make more money”).

The people that are buying things in Overwatch 2 – and I’m sure there’s a lot of them – deserve to be catered for in a way that I don’t. I will play the game a lot, but I won’t give them money for cosmetics, and I won’t pay for characters. That puts them in a bind, because effectively all they’re getting from me is time. I appreciate that, and I hope Game Pass and the Microsoft purchase take the pressure off in that way, and they can change up their progression system a bit.

That’s the second way that I’d come back. Unlocking costumes used to be a reason to return to Overwatch. Events, if they were interesting enough, were a genuinely enticing thing. Now, knowing so much is locked, it’s not as interesting.

Finally, fix the community. I don’t know how you do that – probably by destroying Genji and Widowmaker – but it’d be lovely.


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blank Mat Growcott has been a long-time member of the gaming press. He's written two books and a web series, and doesn't have nearly enough time to play the games he writes about.

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Twitter: @matgrowcott