Blizzard has another successful franchise on its hands and it took less than a month for that to be evident. Based on Blizzard's headcount, there are now more than 10 million gamers playing Overwatch, a cartoonish shooter that released to Windows PCs, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One barely more than three weeks ago on May 24, 2016.
Overwatch is Blizzard's first attempt at a shooter, though it's no stranger to wildly popular franchises. World of Warcraft, probably its most lucrative IP to date, hit a high of 12 million monthly subscribers six years ago. Hearthstone, which ties into the WoW universe as a turn-based card game, reached more than 40 million players a year ago and remains one of the most watched games on Twitter. In May of last year, Blizzard announced that Hearthstone and Destiny had combined to generate almost $1 billion in revenue. And then of course there's the button mashing Diablo series and StarCraft.
Ten million Overwatch agents activated and counting! Thank you for daring to see the world for what it could be. 💛 pic.twitter.com/5nCe4e32XT— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) June 14, 2016
Having 10 million players doesn't necessarily equate to 10 million copies sold—more than one person can play from a single copy of the game. Nevertheless, it's a milestone Blizzard should be proud of, just not surprised by. Barely more than a week in, Blizzard said more than 7 million players had logged 119 million hours of gameplay.
Not only is Overwatch Blizzard's first shooter, it's the company's first new IP in 15 years. It's a also a redemption of sorts for the development team that had previously toiled over Project Titan, an MMO that was ultimately scrapped.