September 21, 2023

As Microsoft remains to be coping with last regulatory points to finish its proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard, Blizzard Leisure introduced yesterday that it could convey a number of its video games to Steam, beginning with Overwatch 2. The free-to-play team-based shooter will likely be launched on Steam on August 10 with assist for cross-platform play via Blizzard’s Battle.internet service.

Whereas Activision already presents Name of Responsibility and plenty of of its different video games on Steam, Blizzard Leisure has made the PC variations of Overwatch, Diablo, and its different video games solely out there by itself Battle.internet launcher, with some uncommon exceptions. The unique Diablo recreation and Warcraft 1 and a couple of will be discovered on the DRM-free platform GOG, for example.

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“Battle.internet is the house of all our PC gamers, and over time, we’ve advanced our platform to assist up to date applied sciences, capabilities, and our communities’ expectations. However as we’ve advanced, the business has advanced too–gaming is now not only for particular communities because it was when Battle.internet launched over twenty years in the past, gaming is for everybody–and although we stay dedicated to repeatedly investing in and supporting Battle.internet, we wish to break down the boundaries to make it simpler for gamers all over the place to search out and revel in our video games,” the corporate defined within the announcement yesterday.

The timing of this announcement is kind of fascinating. With its proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard, Microsoft is dedicated to creating the corporate’s video games out there on extra platforms, together with cloud gaming providers. Whereas Blizzard Leisure remains to be working independently for the time being, the corporate has a longtime gaming platform on PC with Battle.internet, which launched within the late 90s earlier than Steam was even a factor.

Is Blizzard Leisure already being influenced by Microsoft’s latest pro-gamers strikes? That’s unattainable to say, although it’s value noting that Mike Ybarra, the present President of Blizzard Leisure, beforehand labored at Microsoft as Company Vice President of Xbox Stay and Xbox Sport Go. “It’s our objective at Blizzard to hearken to gamers and attempt to exceed their expectations in every part we do,” Ybarra mentioned yesterday.

It will likely be fascinating to see which different video games Blizzard is planning to launch on Steam sooner or later. Previous basic RTS video games like Starcraft and Warcraft might actually discover a new viewers there, however it could be fairly stunning to see Diablo IV, Blizzard’s newest blockbuster launch make its approach to Steam any time quickly. Certainly, it wouldn’t actually make sense to offer Valve a reduce on the gross sales of a recreation that “sold-through extra items than another Blizzard title at an equal stage of launch,” Activision Blizzard mentioned in its FY2023 Q2 earnings report yesterday.