Since launching on Steam in early August 2023, Overwatch 2 has become one of the worst rated games on the platform. The title has achieved more than 100,000 reviews since launch, with around 90% of these reviews being overwhelmingly negative.
They feature a number of criticisms, with the vast majority focussing on the game’s monetisation model, the cancellation of its long-awaited PvE Hero mode, and its dramatic overhaul of Overwatch-era content. The timing of the release is likely a factor, given the Steam launch coincided with the reveal of a high-priced story mission bundle – US $15 for three missions – but there are other factors working against the game.
As Daniel Ahmad, director of research and insights at Niko Partners, recently pointed out on Twitter, around 63,000 of these negative reviews are reportedly written in Simplified Chinese, suggesting regional dissatisfaction with the game’s release on Steam.
Notably, Overwatch 2 was recently pulled from the Chinese market as a result of Blizzard ending its relationship with NetEase earlier in 2023. With the release of Overwatch 2 on Steam, service has now been restored – and according to Ahmad, this change has invited players to express their disappointment with Blizzard’s treatment of the Chinese market.
‘The launch on Steam is the first time that gamers can vent on an open and international platform, with many taking the opportunity to do so,’ Ahmad noted. However, he also pointed out a range of other factors may be contributing to these negative reviews, including: a lack of a national server in China, community turmoil, and slow log-in times.
‘In the end, it’s clear that Overwatch was and still is a popular IP in China,’ Ahmad said. ‘But the string of events starting from the shut down at the beginning of the year has led to pent up frustration being let out all at once.’
While Overwatch 2 remains a popular game on Steam, charting in the most popular recent releases with a 24-hour player peak of 67,518 users, it appears negativity remains rife on the platform. Whether the ongoing and expansive Invasion plot line can change the tide of this criticism remains to be seen.
Overwatch 2 is now available on PC via Battle.net and Steam, and on consoles. The Invasion plot line and story missions are now live for all players.