It seems like no matter what, entertainment is one element that is recession proof. Consumers spend hours a day just watching videos alone. But what is also taking up the time of consumers are video games. A majority of these people are casual gamers, but then there are your hardcore gamers as well. These people are the ones who have high expectations for games, and would rather play a game that’s catered to a niche than something that is catered to everyone. Often times, when a game tries to do too much to please everyone, it doesn’t end well for the developers.
So given that dedicated gamers want something that will allow them to enjoy time outside of the real world for hours on in, what exactly can game developers do to cater to their needs? It is best to draw some inspiration from the highly successful game Overwatch. For a multiplayer shooter that’s actually increasing in popularity and player count, here are some ways it’s achieving just that:
Making it Multiplayer Focused
There are many gamers out there who usually skip the 5 hour single player campaign of a first person shooter to jump straight into multiplayer. So instead of spending extra money to create a compelling narrative, they focused solely on creating the multiplayer component. The amount of people turned off by this practice was in the minority, as they wouldn’t spend $60 on what they perceived was not a full game. But it stands as one example of why it isn’t necessary to please everyone, as millions still bought the game.
The Gameplay Mechanics Focuses on Teamwork
Instead of having a game where someone can lonewolf their way through the map to rack up kills and become unstoppable, Blizzard took a different approach, by making the gameplay based on how well you work with your team. Team composition plays a huge factor on how effective a team performs, as you need damage dealers, tanks to soak up damage, defense characters to hinder an attacker’s advances, and healers to keep teammates alive. That coupled with good communication makes for a game that rewards those who work together instead of going at it alone.
Making the Game Accessible
This goes hand in hand with the game’s teamwork focus. It’s a game that’s easy to play, but hard to master. Casual players who aren’t necessarily good at generating kills for their team can help in other ways, including support or tanking. Overwatch isn’t meant for everybody, as some people may not be fond of the animated art direction to this shooter or that it’s based on teamwork. However, it’s a game that doesn’t require a high skill level to get into, and that’s why even consumers who aren’t into first person shooters are actually playing it either by themselves or with friends.
There are a vast variety of characters that contain their own abilities to aid themselves and teammates in achieving victory, along with ultimates that can turn the tide of a battle. But even better is how compelling these characters are to the players. Blizzard Entertainment did well in creating memorable characters that captures the heart of gamers. Some stand out more than others, like Tracer, with her quirky enthusiasm, or Reaper, with his gritty demeanor. It’s no wonder you see several cosplayers dressed up as these characters at events. The game itself also allows you to access every character’s backstory, which helps to satisfy those who want to learn about the characters they love to play.
Quality Support and Updates
Blizzard Entertainment has a track record of creating amazingly addictive games that are built to last for years. Take World of Warcraft for example, released back in 2004, with its several expansions and gameplay improvements they’ve made to keep a high playerbase some 13 years later and going. Overwatch is no exception. In over a year since release, players have received new characters, maps, cosmetic items in the form of skins, emotes, character lines, among other things.
All characters and maps are free, while cosmetic items can be earned in game or through using real money. Not only that, but a heavy anti-cheating system, fixes to technical issues, character balancing, and event themed modes round up the amazing support this game has gotten. Overwatch has become a even better game than it was when it first launched, which is why there’s over 30 million registered players and counting. It’s hard to imagine the type of game it’ll be in the future, but it’ll surely get better with age.