I picked up Overwatch and I’m enjoying it wholeheartedly. I love it’s coloful style and inconsequential nature. But what’s really fascinating is the hold it has on people. I saw folks on my friends list play for 10+ hours on Saturday. I logged on to play some Ratchet & Clank and they were there. I went away and came back several hours later, they were there. We’re not on some kind of synced schedule here, their parties have been running for 3+ hours straight.
What makes it so addictive though? Is it the drive for getting their favorite costumes? The drive to win more matches? There are no weapon unlocks whatsoever. It’s a quality game and I enjoy it but I haven’t found the desire to play it for such long sessions. I’m certain those blind boxes play a big part but this isn’t the first game to implement them and I haven’t seen so many people in so deep like this.
Perhaps it’s also the obfuscation of traditional shooter performance metrics. I cannot tell if I’m the weak link on a team and there’s no way to really point out that one person who isn’t pulling their weight and thus nobody is going to quit out of frustration. There’s a win/loss percentage in the career profile but it’s stashed way in that profile page and unless you’re going out of your way to check it out, there’s really no indicator of your poor performance. Blizzard will happily highlight your successes though.
What an ingeniously designed game.