Looking at the quality of the buildup to the Overwatch Archives event that goes live Tuesday, one thing stood out:
The rest of the game's seasonal events need to be at this level.
Decryption status: COMPLETE— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) April 15, 2019
Target located. Overwatch Strike Team deployed. Chase the truth. ?
Prepare for Storm Rising April 16. pic.twitter.com/KuFTjlM8vD
Overwatch Storm Rising is a part of the Archives series of seasonal events that focus on storytelling, a new PvE experience, and expanding the lore of the Overwatch universe.
Fans enjoy Archives events because they are refreshing experiences players don't traditionally get to play in Overwatch. The first Archives event, Uprising, let players experience Tracer's first mission as a member of Overwatch first hand. The second event, Retribution, let players step into the shoes of the mysterious Blackwatch wing of the organization. The events are a breath of fresh air for Overwatch, which doesn't typically focus on PvE story missions.
The rest of the seasonal events in Overwatch are, well, less refreshing. Summer Games, which features the unique mode Lucioball, has otherwise done nothing beyond add a map each year it has returned. Competitive Lucioball was also introduced, but that doesn't significantly change the gameplay.
Other events, such as Lunar New Year, Anniversary, and Winter Wonderland, offer little additional content besides limited-time skins. The only other event that is comparable to Archives is Halloween Terror, which also brings a unique PvE mode.
Blizzard should bring the rest of the events in line with Archives because Overwatch's position as one of the most prominent games is slipping. Players are becoming disengaged with the game for a variety of reasons, but one of them is the lack of fresh and innovative content.
Blizzard needs to return to the drawing board when it comes to seasonal events. The developers should revitalize the events or simply replace some of them. A handful of new skins and half-baked game modes are unlikely to re-engage players that stopped playing because they've gotten bored with the core gameplay loop.
Seasonal events need to exist for reasons other than simply adding new skins. Every year, Archives brings a fresh experience to Overwatch that gives players a new way to play and connect with the characters and world of Overwatch. All other events should aim to do the same.
Cover Photo Courtesy of Blizzard