Overwatch 2 has made history by becoming the worst-reviewed game on Steam. Publisher Blizzard, which usually kept its PC games locked to the Battle.net client, brought its team-based shooter to Steam on August 10, only to be flooded with negative reviews. At the time of writing, merely nine percent of the overall ratings (111,234) are positive, with many criticising the title’s approach to locking heroes and cosmetics behind a battle pass and the cancellation of its long-advertised PvE mode. While Blizzard might have expected some backlash, this reception must’ve been eye-opening for them, given Battle.net did not have a review system in place.
With the release of season 6 ‘Invasion,’ Overwatch 2 had moved on from early access, though it still swayed from the purpose of its existence. You see, the sequel was announced to have PvE as an always-on game mode that would let players gather XP by completing story missions to level up their preferred heroes, by way of an RPG. It was supposed to push its overarching lore forward, but back in May, Blizzard confirmed that it was no longer in development, instead releasing it in gradual, smaller batches as a means to flourish the co-op experience. Not only does this render the sequel useless, but the addition of a battle pass and other live-service gimmicks at the start didn’t sit well with longtime fans.
Another cool thing to note here is that nearly two thirds of those reviews are reportedly in Simplified Chinese. As per games analyst Daniel Ahmad, Overwatch 2 and World of Warcraft were the biggest PC games in China before the regional servers were shut down due to a disagreement between Blizzard and its Chinese distributor NetEase. The 14-year-old partnership was brought to an end earlier this year over new terms in the licensing agreement, which ultimately led to gamers in the country using VPNs to play those games. There haven’t been any announcements of the servers returning, and Overwatch 2’s arrival on Steam was a means for them to communicate those concerns, in addition to criticising the aforementioned changes made to the game. The reliance on VPNs also forced them to suffer slow logins and connection issues.
With these numbers in merely three days, Overwatch 2 has overtaken the Chinese card-battle game War of the Three Kingdoms as the worst-reviewed game on the platform. The former has garnered 101,826 negative reviews, at the time of writing, dropping it to an ‘Overwhelmingly Negative’ tag. Blizzard also has plans to bring a selection of its other titles to Steam, which would be highly beneficial to PC players since a good majority of them hate having to switch between different accounts and clients to play their favourite games. It’s unclear which ones would be making the jump, but I really hope that the Diablo games are next.