Overwatch 2 suffers huge Twitch decline amid second Beta launch without drops

Overwatch 2 MeiBlizzard

The second Overwatch 2 Beta period has failed to capture the masses quite like the first outing in April, as viewership has dropped a staggering amount, in large part due to a lack of Twitch drops.

After years of silence and confusion, the first publicly playable version of Overwatch 2 finally went live to clear the air on April 26 as fans got an initial look at what the upcoming sequel has to offer.

The franchise launched back into public consciousness with this test build and it did so with eye-watering success. The release of the first Beta smashed viewership records for Blizzard’s hero shooter title, soaring to 1.46 million concurrent viewers on Twitch throughout the day of launch.

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Thanks to Beta access being tied directly to Twitch drops, incentivizing viewers to watch four hours of their favorite streamers, stars of the platform like xQc even broke their individual records too. 

However, with said drops now absent from the second Beta period, interest has seemingly plummeted, with Twitch viewership barely rising from the average day, let alone matching the previous wave.

Overwatch 2 viewership statsSullyGnome
Overwatch 2 viewership amid the second Beta is just a fraction of what it was for the first.

Upon the launch of the first Overwatch 2 Beta, the category marked a new all-time best with 1.46 million tuned in. Upon the launch of the second Overwatch 2 Beta, the category has failed to crack even 100,000 concurrent viewers.

As the new test build went live on June 28, Twitch viewership climbed to a monthly peak of 98,128 concurrent viewers, according to data from SullyGnome. At the time of writing, overall viewership has already declined further to just 20,000 viewers across all Overwatch streams.

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Primarily, this dip in Twitch viewership can be attributed to the lack of Beta drops. Rather than repeating the first method, Beta access for the second iteration instead comes via a $40 purchase of the new Watchpoint Pack.

Seemingly anticipating the drop, Blizzard appears to have tried to mitigate some of the damage through the release of a new Brigitte Medic skin. Exclusively earned through Twitch subscriptions, the new cosmetic would’ve hoped to drive an increase in viewership once again, though quickly led to a new wave of backlash in the community.

junker queen pointing in overwatch 2Blizzard
Overwatch 2’s second Beta introduced one new hero and a single map.

Given Twitch is just a single platform, this data doesn’t necessarily map the broader interest in Overwatch 2. Though such a steep decline is sure to be concerning in the lead-up to the game’s early access launch on October 4.

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With seemingly one final Beta period coming later in the year, likely following the reveal of the next Support hero, it remains to be seen whether Blizzard will backtrack and once again rely on Twitch Drops to boost interest in the sequel.