How is the Overwatch Player Count Holding Out in 2023?

Updated · Mar 06, 2023

The Overwatch player count might be falling, but the game certainly isn’t dead yet.

Still, why is the player base decreasing? How bad was the game hit? Will we ever see the long-promised sequel?

Keep reading to find out the answers to these and other questions.

Developer: Blizzard

Year of release: 2016

Platforms: Windows, PlayStation, Xbox, Switch

Genre: Competitive FPS

Overwatch Player Count & Market Share (Editor's Choice)

  • Overwatch had 10 million players during its beta.
  • On Twitch, it is the 39th most-watched game.
  • At the start of 2020, the Overwatch player count surpassed the 50 million mark.
  • There were over 60 million new accounts as of January 2021.
  • There were around 200,000 concurrent players at the end of 2021.
  • Throughout 2021, Overwatch had at least five million players every month.
  • In December 2021, Overwatch had around 11K concurrent viewers.

Overwatch Info

Why did Overwatch get popular?

Well, it’s a unique blend of FPS and MOBA. A competitive first-person shooter above all, it has a multiplayer online battle arena feel to it.

That definitely helped keep the Overwatch player count on Xbox, Playstation, and PC high throughout the years.

1. The game now has 32 heroes.

(Source: Overwatch Wiki)

Upon the game’s announcement, there were only 12 playable characters. By the time of its release, nine more were added to the game, making for a total of 21.

Since then, the creators add new heroes approximately every four months. Surely, this helps retain the Overwatch player base and attract new players.

Sadly, things aren’t all that good now.

2. Overwatch has received no major updates since April 2020.

(Source: Dexerto)

This is when the last new hero, Echo, was released. From that update forward, the game has only received new maps and cosmetics. This was also when the Overwatch player count started decreasing.

What caused all that?

Well, we can blame the pandemic at least partially. It delayed not only the sequel’s development but the updates too.

Overwatch Players

Overwatch 2 may not be out yet, but five years after its release, the original is doing okay.

Still, we don’t expect the Overwatch player count to increase in 2022.

3. During its beta phase, the game already had over 10 million players.

(Source: Esports Bets)

When did Overwatch get popular? Considering it’s a Blizzard Entertainment game, its chances were pretty good, to begin with.

Expectedly, Overwatch quickly gained popularity. Before the game even launched, it had over 10 million user accounts.

Granted, that’s not the same thing as unique active players. Still, it definitely boosted the Overwatch player count for PC and consoles after the game’s official release.

4. At the start of 2020, the Overwatch player count exceeded 50 million people.

(Source: TechACake)

The game was most popular around the time of its release. Sure, its growth went a bit slower afterward, but the general direction is still up.

Almost four years later, in Q1 2020, it reached 50 million players.

Fast forward a year or so, it doesn’t seem to be doing any worse. The average number of active Overwatch players in 2021 is between 600,000 and 900,000.

5. In January 2021, Overwatch had 60 million players.

(Source: Esports Bets)

The game’s tremendous rise came to a halt in early 2018, but it didn’t stop completely. The 2021 Overwatch player numbers prove that.

6. In 2021, the average number of monthly Overwatch players was over six million.

(Source: ActivePlayer)

In 2021, at least five million people played the game every month. The average number of monthly players for January was 5,324,456.

Afterward, this number didn’t go below six million. It even surpassed seven million a few times. That’s better than its performance in 2020—definitely not a sign of a dying game.

7. Toward the end of 2021, Overwatch had around 200,000 concurrent players.

(Source: ActivePlayer)

According to ActivePlayer, around 200,000 people play this MOBA-meets-FPS game simultaneously at the time of writing.

Keep in mind that these are live statistics, though. This means the number varies, even throughout the day.

Plus, this is the number for all platforms and devices collectively. We don’t know the Overwatch player count for PS4, other consoles, or PCs separately.

8. Over 600,000 people per day play Overwatch.

(Source: ActivePlayer)

On average, over 600,000 people play the game per day. However, that number varies significantly.

The highest score for 2021 was reached in July, with 657,103 Overwatch daily players.

Overwatch eSport

A big company like Blizzard will always find a way to promote its games. The company did so well with Overwatch’s popularity that it became an esport.

This drove not only its revenue up, but the tournament prize pools as well.

9. Overwatch had an average of nearly 11K concurrent viewers in December 2021.

(Source: TwitchTracker)

In August 2019, the Overwatch player base reached its all-time peak on Twitch. At that time, an average of over 47.1K people watched Overwatch simultaneously.

In just two months, this number fell all the way down to 14.7K. It went up a bit from there, but the overall tendency is toward a decrease.

The number of viewers has barely surpassed 10,000 in the past several months.

Is Overwatch dead, judging by this stat? Compared to its earlier popularity levels, it seems like it’s in decline. Still, it’s far from being dead yet.

10. Overwatch is the 33rd most-watched game on Twitch.

(Source: TwitchTracker)

Given its decline, is Overwatch even still an esport?

Yes, it is. It doesn’t have the same popularity it used to, but it ranks 33rd on Twitch.

Note that this is a dynamic number, too—it changes rather quickly.

11. Overwatch made over $1 billion from microtransactions in 2017.

(Source: PCGamesN)

This shooter made loot boxes popular and made loads of money from them. So, how much money has Overwatch made, exactly?

Although the exact numbers are not available, we do know it’s over $1 billion of in-game revenue. It reached this mark in 2017, mostly thanks to the loot boxes and Overwatch League tokens.

These allowed players to acquire esports skins but were quite costly. You could get some for free by signing up for the Overwatch League newsletter.

This was well received by the Overwatch player base, and the game started racking up serious money.

12. The total tournament prize pool for Overwatch was $5.06 million in 2020.

(Source: Statista)

That might still be a lot of money, but the 2020 prize pool was pretty low compared to prior years.

In 2019, the cumulative worldwide prize pool was $9.59 million. In 2018, it was $6.59 million.

Is this one of the reasons why the Overwatch player count is dropping? Or is it a consequence of this process? We don’t know.

What we do know is that the game still has some life left in it.

Wrap Up

The Overwatch player count might be decreasing, but the game is far from being dead.

This hero shooter still has a loyal fanbase. But will the sequel be successful if it’s ever released? Only time can tell.

Nick Galov
Nick Galov

Unaware that life beyond the internet exists, Nick is poking servers and control panels, playing with WordPress add-ons, and helping people get the hosting that suits them.