Market Insight

Player-generated content reignites Overwatch user enthusiasm

April 29, 2019

Louise Shorthouse, Ph.D. Louise Shorthouse, Ph.D. Research Analyst I, Games and Apps

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Blizzard has introduced 'Workshop' to its competitive multiplayer title Overwatch: a simplified scripting system which expands the customization features available in the Game Browser, and is intended to be accessible to all users. Players can now create scripts to add rules, unique play conditions and their resulting actions. Rules can modify a hero’s movement or abilities, change how players take damage, or even display text.

The Overwatch Workshop has been well-received by fans, who have relished the chance to engage with the familiar content on a new level. Players have already produced a variety of custom creations, ranging from non-violent game modes involving speed-runs, to swap modes where players morph into the hero they last defeated. This addition has arguably rekindled enthusiasm for the title among some portions of the community.

User-created content has long underpinned certain franchises

Little Big Planet set a precedent for the genre back in 2008 - with players uploading over four million creations by 2011 - and creator Media Molecule is looking to build on that success with its latest PS4-exclusive Dreams. The surreal and much-anticipated title focuses heavily on user-generated content, and has just launched in early access. What’s more, established sandbox titles such as Minecraft and Roblox are built on the foundations of content creation, proving that there is a substantial and devoted audience for the genre.

This newly implemented Workshop feature provides a way for veteran players to re-engage with the title, even if the game's main offering remains stale, helping to offset concerns that its userbase was waning. It remains to be seen for how long this kind of feature can help to combat churn, in a class-based competitive experience such as this.

Activision Blizzard
Research by Market
Media & Advertising
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