Blizzard’s team shooter Overwatch has added another 5 million players, for a total of 30 million worldwide, in the last three months. That might not be so remarkable of a milestone for the World of Warcraft creator, which makes some of the world’s most popular and enduring online games. What is interesting is that the growth rate for Overwatch — a title not even a year old that retails for around $40 and has no free-to-play component whatsoever — is not slowing down... at all.
The game, available only on consoles and PC, hit 20 million registered players back in October. It then notched 25 million players in January. Now, another three months later, it’s hit 30 million. So players are clearly jumping in for the first time in droves, regardless of the game’s highly competitive community and dizzying number of playable heroes. Granted, Blizzard has gone to great lengths to make the game accessible to new players, and the company has an obsessively balanced ranking system to ensure players are rarely asked to punch above their weight.
Still, it’s remarkable growth for a game that did not exist this time last year. Hearthstone, Blizzard’s massively popular free-to-play card game, hit 50 million registered players two years after release, and that’s a game you can play on your iPhone. At its current rate of growth, Overwatch could reach that milestone in a similar time frame, despite it carrying a $40 retail price.