Yes, Overwatch is a great game, but imo it made the FPS genre (not just the FPS genre, but it especially) much worse. Let me explain:
Overwatch has loot boxes that can be bought with real money. Overwatch sold a lot, and because it has a lot of fans that think it's a sacred game and refuse to consider the loot boxes a problem, publishers now think loot boxes are a-ok with consumers.
Overwatch has no campaign. Overwatch sold a lot, and because it had a lot of fans that think it's a sacred game and refuse to consider the lack of campaign a problem, publishers now think it's a-ok to don't include a campaign in a $60 game if it has a multiplayer mode. That's a more recent one, but with CoD BO4 not having a campaign, we can expect the number of FPSs with single-player content shrinking more and more from now on.
Overwatch also won tons of awards, including Game of the Year (!) on TGA 2016.
Overwatch basically made anti-consumer practices acceptable in the eyes of publishers.
I think it's very important to note what's in the lootboxes. The fact that Overwatch's lootboxes only contain cosmetic items, combined with the fact that you can use in game currency for them, is why people are not as much against it as for certain other games where the lootboxes contain pay to win content, or lock vital parts of the game behind that paywall, etc.
1st part, it still isn't. FIFA was a hugely successful game with paid loot boxes long before Overwatch had even started development.
FIFA is a weird case, though. People always seem to look at it as if it was not a game, but something else. It seems to be on its own ecosystem if that makes sense. I mean, people freaked out about Battlefront 2 doing the exact same thing as FIFA has been doing for years. I guess the FIFA demographic is too different from any other game. Overwatch bring paid loot boxes for the "hardcore gamers" in a way. Sure, it's anecdotal evidence, but that's how I feel at least.
I don't want to get into what's hardcore vs casual, but anecdotally, a ton of casuals and their girlfriend's grandmothers are playing Overwatch on Twitch.
Anyway, Battlefront 2's lootbox system wasn't exactly a carbon copy of what EA has done in FIFA. The main gripe people seemed to have with Battlefront, or at least the reddit post that blew up and prompted a response from EA's PR division, was that fan favorite characters like Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader that you usually got for free in these games were now locked behind an insanely long grind, unless you bought lootboxes to speed it up.
On top of that, the pay to win mechanics tied to the loot boxes affected every aspect of online play.
From my understanding, when it comes to FIFA, you have the core game and the usual modes. Carreer, online vs, etc. And all the teams and current players are available to you in those modes. No one can pay to win to beat you in those modes, and you can always access your favorite teams or players for free without having to buy lootboxes.
Then there's a mode called Ultimate Team. It's separate from the other modes, but here characters (players) are locked behind the lootbox paywall.
Perhaps this being a separate mode that doesn't seep into the other modes is one of the reasons people are less up in arms about this. If you take out Lionel Messi and Christiano Ronaldo from the main Career mode and lock them behind a paywall, and add pay to win mechanics in every aspect of online play, I'm sure football fans would riot as well. Literally. They'd take to the streets, as football hooligans do.
On the subject of MMORPG, there's nothing inherent about first person shooters that makes having a campaign mandatory. That genre lends itself really well to multiplayer, so it can absolutely be a multi player only game. I can understand why Call of Duty fans are upset about the removal of the campaign, because it's something they're used to from the Call of Duty brand. Overwatch is a new IP with no precedence.
And Overwatch is also by far not even the first popular First Person Shooter to not have a campaign. Counterstrike for example was very popular back in the day, and it did not have a campaign either. Later on, one of the sequels called Counter Strike: Condition Zero had a campaign.
Last edited by Hiku - on 19 May 2018