How do Overwatch’s 7 million sales compare to its peers?

Chris Stead 3 June 2016 NEWS


It has been well over a decade since Blizzard last gave birth to a new game series, and it looks like the company’s fans have been waiting with wallets open.

Today, Activision-Blizzard announced that Overwatch - the multiplayer first-person shooter released for PS4, Xbox One and PC barely nine days ago - has already sold seven million copies. It sounds like an impressive number, and it is – but only in context. We thought we would take a closer look at some its peers in the online first-person shooter space, and through the company’s own back catalogue, to see just how impressive a start to its life Overwatch has had.

Please note: Global sales retail data takes a while to arrive and is currently up-to-date till May 7, 2016. So these figures are based on Activision’s reported sales of seven million rather than retail sales figures, and recent games like Battleborn are simply for comparison over days on sale.

If you’ve yet to pick up this amazing game - which we scored a 9 out of 10 - you can find the cheapest place to get it in our Overwatch price comparison.

Overwatch Data ComparisonGlobal Sales (Million)Available FormatsDays From Release to Latest Global Sales Data (May 7, 2016)Sales Per Day (thousand)Metacritic Score
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft5047786426793
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare21.73518511745981
Star Wars: Battlefront1431728139572
Diablo III30514532064787
The Division5.623609366780
Battlefield Hardline4.125417988072
Halo 5: Guardians3.911932020784
Rainbow Six Siege3.2631582063375
Killzone: Shadow Fall2.551904282173

Are Overwatch’s sales figures impressive?

As you can see from the table above, Overwatch’s figure of seven million sales in little over a week is very, very impressive. Why we can anticipate a natural decline in sale velocity over the coming weeks after the initial burst of interest, we don’t expect that drop to be as significant as other titles in its genre. Or any genre for that matter.

For starters, it has close to a two-month window at the top of retail shelves and in consumer minds before the next genuine blockbuster arrives on the scene. With the exception of Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst out early next week (which is in truth a sequel to a cult hit and a niche title), the next genuine blockbuster is No Man’s Sky, out in the first week of August.

In addition to that, Overwatch is receiving incredible strong word-of-mouth from both players and critics, with some of the most recognised media outlets in the world giving it 10 out of 10 scores. As such, I believe Overwatch has every chance of surpassing Destiny as the biggest new IP of this generation of gaming to date. Which, scarily, would give Activision the three biggest shooters in video gaming – Call of Duty, Destiny and Overwatch – and an audience approaching 50 million.

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