Overwatch 2, the multiplayer team-based hero shooter from Blizzard Entertainment, is coming to Valve’s Steam storefront on 10 August 2023. It will be the first of a number of Blizzard games to come to the platform.
It’s a significant move for the company, which has traditionally distributed the PC versions of its games exclusively on its own Battle.net store and launcher for over 25 years.
Overwatch 2 will continue to exist on Battle.net following the Steam launch, and Overwatch 2 players on Steam will still need to connect to a Battle.net account, which allows for cross-platform play. The Steam version of Overwatch 2 will utilise the various community features of Steam, and include Steam achievements.
In a statement on its blog, Blizzard said that ‘gaming is no longer just for specific communities as it was when Battle.net launched over two decades ago, gaming is for everyone – and though we remain committed to continually investing in and supporting Battle.net, we want to break down the barriers to make it easier for players everywhere to find and enjoy our games.’
The company further said that it will be ‘bringing a selection of [its] games to Steam’ following the launch of Overwatch 2. The move makes sense, as Steam continues to represent the biggest and most popular PC game distribution platform in the world. In 2021, Valve reported 132 million active monthly players on Steam.
‘We’ve heard players want the choice of Steam for a selection of our games,’ said Mike Ybarra, President of Blizzard Entertainment, in a provided statement. ‘We’re happy to work with Valve to make that happen.’
The timing appears to be strategic. Overwatch 2 is on the cusp of releasing a major new game update, titled Invasion, that will add a new hero and several new gameplay modes, including story missions for the first time in the series. It’s likely that Blizzard hopes for a large uptake in new players for the free-to-play game.
The news also comes in the wake of layoffs in Activision Blizzard’s esports division, and indications of an impending shakeup for its competitive Overwatch League.
You can wishlist Overwatch 2 on Steam now.