Why Overwatch 2 isn't available on Steam

Despite Activision making Call of Duty available via Steam, Overwatch 2 seems to stay exclusive to Battle.net on PC (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)
Despite Activision making Call of Duty available via Steam, Overwatch 2 seems to stay exclusive to Battle.net on PC (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)

One question most players had prior to Overwatch 2's launch was whether the game would be available via Valve's PC launcher, digital storefront, Steam, or would remain bound to Activision Blizzard's PC launcher, Battle.net, just like the original.

Fans' doubts were resolved rather quickly as Blizzard Entertainment confirmed that the game will not be coming to Steam and will remain on Battle.net. Since the news was revealed right around the title's open beta, fans expecting Overwatch to finally make its way to Steam were met with the unfortunate news.

This has raised the question of why Blizzard is so reluctant in bringing Overwatch 2 over to Steam. Especially when it can substantially boost the playercount for the title, which is always a positive for any live-service, multiplayer video game.


Overwatch 2's unavailability on Steam is baffling, given Modern Warfare 2 will be present on Valve's platform

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Overwatch 2, the highly awaited sequel to Blizzard Entertainment's multiplayer first-person shooter, was released recently. While the sequel is technically the same game as the previous entry, it features some really significant changes made to its progression, which has long-time fans of the original divided.

Overwatch 2 follows a free-to-play model, with progression tied to a Battle Pass system, where players are required to grind levels in order to unlock perks, cosmetics, and even new Heroes.

Blizzard currently has no plans to bring Overwatch 2 over to Steam

The upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 from Activision is the first title since 2017's Call of Duty: World War 2 that a game from the beloved first-person shooter series will be available on Steam.

The shift of Call of Duty from Activision Blizzard's Battle.net to Steam is in part due to the company's acquisition by Microsoft. The latter have already been bringing their first-party exclusives to PC via both Windows Store and Steam.

Naturally, players assumed Blizzard's own multiplayer FPS game, Overwatch 2, will follow suit and will also make its way to Steam, which is arguably the single most accepted launcher and digital storefront among PC gaming enthusiasts. However, since the open beta for Overwatch 2, it was pretty clear to players that Blizzard might not have any plans to bring the series over to Steam.

This, on some grounds, is somewhat understandable. Especially since Overwatch 2 is more like a brand new season for the original game, rather than a full-fledged sequel or standalone experience like the yearly Call of Duty titles.

Players who own Overwatch are automatically being transitioned to the sequel, which apart from a revamped progression system and a few new heroes, is basically the same game as its predecessor. As such, it might be cumbersome to transition existing players and their progress over to the new game, should they decide to migrate to Valve's platform.

There are instances of publishers shifting from one digital platform to another on PC without any tangible issues.

For instance, Bungie's MMO FPS title Destiny 2, which was also exclusively available via Blizzard's Battle.net, made its move to Steam without much hassle. It even gave players a lengthy transition period to migrate their accounts and progress across the two platforms.

As it currently stands, Blizzard Entertainment has no plans to bring their multiplayer first-person shooter series to any other platform apart from their own Battle.net launcher.


Server issues and multiple DDoS attacks hampered the launch

Overwatch 2, while offering the same robust and exciting multiplayer experience players loved back in 2016, also has a few new tricks up its sleeves that is mostly welcomed by the community of fans. However, the launch of the free-to-play multiplayer FPS has not been pleasant.

Much like Destiny 2's initial transition to Steam and free-to-play landscape, Overwatch 2 also faced many connectivity and server-related issues, leaving many unable to play the game at launch. The issues were made worse by multiple DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks.

Blizzard was able to somewhat rectify the issues players were facing over the past few days. However, it is nowhere near ideal with many still facing long queues before being able to play the game.