Chinese players bashing Overwatch 2 on Steam to express their frustration with Blizzard's exit from China

Overwatch 2 has been widely criticized by players after its launch on Steam, making it the lowest rated game on the platform. But here is why most negative reviews are coming from Chinese users.

Overwatch 2 is the lowest rated Steam game ever, with 2/3 of negative reviews coming from Chinese players

Why do Chinese players criticize Overwatch 2?

Shortly after its August 10 launch on Steam, Overwatch 2 was bombed with negative reviews from players, making it the lowest rated game this year with just 15% positive reviews. The criticism focused on broken promises regarding PvE content, questionable monetization, and lack of improvements over the original title.

However, Daniel Ahmad, director of research and insights at Niko Partners, noted on Twitter that nearly two-thirds of all reviews are written in Simplified Chinese. Local users are now using the Steam launch of Overwatch 2 to openly express their protest against the shutdown of Blizzard games in the country.

Quick reminder: Blizzard broke up with NetEase, its partner in China, last year after their 14-year licensing deal expired. As a result, all of the company’s games, including Overwatch, World of Warcraft, and Diablo, went offline on January 23, 2023 and made millions of players angry. Blizzard has yet to find a new partner, which is crucial because NetEase not only handled the operation of titles, but also made sure they met the country’s strict policies and regulations. More information can be found here.

According to Ahmad, most negative reviews from Chinese players are critical of Blizzard’s handling of Overwatch 2, as well as the lack of a dedicated national server and poor online connection. One the one hand, users can now access the global version of the game on Steam, and on the other hand, they have lost their old accounts due to the company’s exit from China.

“The launch on Steam is the first time that gamers can vent on an open and international platform, with many taking the opportunity to do so,” Ahmad noted.

He also added that, according to a survey conducted by Niko Parnters in March, World of Warcraft and Overwatch were the most popular Blizzard PC titles prior to their shutdown. “In the end, it’s clear that OW was and still is a popular IP in China. But the string of events starting from the shut down at the beginning of the year has led to pent up frustration being let out all at once.”

Top 10 lowest rated Steam games of all time, according to Steam250

Overwatch 2 is now the lowest rated Steam game of all time

  • On Steam, Overwatch 2 currently has an “Overwhelmingly Negative” rating, with only 9% of the 117k user reviews being positive.
  • According to SteamDB, this makes it the lowest-rated product of all time on the platform, followed by Chinese free-to-play card game War of the Three Kingdoms (三国杀) — 11% rating based on 30k reviews.
  • Ahmad added that some users even “proceeded to leave positive reviews for War of the Three Kingdoms in the past couple of days, citing their desire for OW2 to keep its lead.”
  • Overwatch 2 is also the lowest rated title on Steam, according to Steam250, which only takes into account products with over 1,000 user reviews. The top 10 includes Flatout 3 (17%), Identity (17%), and Moblie Suit Gandam Battle Operation 2 (20%).
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