SEOUL, June 23 (Korea Bizwire) – Blizzard Entertainment’s latest online videogame, Overwatch, is shaking up the Korean videogame market just a month into its launch. Overwatch is a multiplayer first-person shooter game where 12 players – six on each side – fight over the control points on a map in a limited amount of time.
According to GameTrics, a research website that specializes in videogames, Overwatch’s play-hour share at ‘PC bangs’, PC gaming centers where customers can play multiplayer computer games for an hourly fee, surpassed 30 percent (30.18 percent) as of June 21.
More significantly, Overwatch beat League of Legends, the world-famous multiplayer online battle arena videogame, by 1.59 percent. League of Legends had maintained first place in play-hour share for over 200 weeks since July 2012.
“The play-hour share at PC bangs is higher than the actual market share because people are required to purchase the product (people can play all games for free at PC bangs),” said a videogame industry official. “But it is doing much better than anticipated.”
“The overall reaction is that Overwatch was better made than most predicted,” said another official. “And with Blizzard Entertainment’s aggressive marketing efforts, the game’s popularity will last for a while.”
The Overwatch fever in Korea is expected to heighten with the approaching summer holidays for elementary, middle, and high schools in July and August.
Blizzard Entertainment will also continue improving the game by introducing new heroes (currently there are 21 characters to choose from, all with different abilities) and maps. It’s also in the middle of discussing Overwatch’s placement in the eSports market.
However, there are also concerns that the online videogame market now thrives solely on Overwatch and League of Legends, taking away opportunities for domestic videogames. In fact, the play-hour share at PC bangs for the two games alone was 58.77 percent.
“Apart from League of Legends and Overwatch, no other game has a share of more than 10 percent,” said an industry official. “Even popular domestic games like Sudden Attack and Lineage are struggling hard.”
By Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)