Overwatch - Blizzards New Toy

By David Piner -
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Blizzard launches a new IP and it's basically Team Fortress 2. When I watched the presentation, tears of joy started to run down my eye at the idea that Blizzard was releasing a new IP, but when the word mercenary arrived, my smile turned to a quick frown as I realized - they were making a MOBA. Not only a MOBA, but a MOBA out of Titan's corpse. 

We've all heard the rumors of Titan being pretty much Planetside Blizzard style and then out of nowhere Blizzard announces... Team Fortress 2. Which is great, I mean, yay, but everyone could sort of see the disappointment on the faces of Blizzard that this isn't going to be a game with a story, but just a game, much like LoL or Smite or TF2 where there is a background, but it's sort of there.

Blizzard played around Titan questions, dismissing "Titan" as done with over a year ago, but a small time arena game like this probably doesn't need that many staff and they probably had enough parts left that they could whip together a simple arena game that just needs matchmaking, maps to play in, and art resources. They probably liberally took several ideas from Titan, I'm sure. I have no evidence, obviously, but that's my speculation.

This makes fantastic business sense to Blizzard. Think about this, Heroes of the Storm needs an infinite supply of new heroes. An arena game makes an infinite amount of new heroes. HotS can run infinitly off the supply of new heroes that Overwatch makes when there isn't anything new in the Starcraft, Warcraft, Diablo, etc. franchises available for them to take from. 

They've built pretty much an perpetual machine of heroes, signaling the end of the era of RTS and the dawn of the true age of Blizzard, the eSports company. The company that makes low investment high profit games that have nothing to do with the magic of why we loved Blizzard and everything to do with cashing in. 

Seeing the heroes in the opening now makes a bit sadder, understanding that at some point they may have been written as superstars in an epic storyline or even quest givers. Maybe, possibly, but now they're just the same thing as the Heavy, each one is an archetype representing a specific loadout that you choose when you jump into the game. 

It's alright, I'm still a fanboy, I'm happy there is a new IP and that there is a chance we might see a new and improved MMO out of this or maybe something crazy, but a mix between Escape from Planet Earth and Team Fortress 2 might not be the pop-culture phenomena we've been waiting for. It might be, who knows. 

No voice chat thing is interesting and expected, WoW voice chat never caught on, but not because people didn't want it, but because it sucked. Halo voice chat was perfect, in every sense of the word, but that doesn't translate over to PC games that well, especially with options like Vent and TeamSpeak available. 

I wonder if they're going to sell hats. I'm sure they will, just like how Protoss get fewer units even if it's their xpac.

I'm excited to see more of the game and see what Blizzard does with it. I can already tell I'm going to be a fan since I've played more than my fair share of TF2, so I'm excited, but a little let down it's not something a bit more in-depth, know what I mean? 

See you guys next week. Enjoy the Christmas shopping! 

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About The Author

David "Xerin" Piner
Get in the bush with Xerin every week for his column, Respawn, as he analyzes the hottest trends, buzz topics, and absurdities in MMO gaming. In addition to his ongoing war against early access titles.

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