There's something to be said about when a gaming community comes together.
It's an interesting phenomenon. Anyone who's been remotely close to the current state of video games can tell you that the community at large is nothing short of diverse—in everything from individual opinion to genre. Some groups enjoy pure FPS matches and some value a more story-driven experience. There are people who want to play games all alone and then people who have their best experiences in large collaborative groups.
Some people are Hanzo mains. We all have our differences.
The point here is that it's difficult to make gamers agree on anything. One concept we all seem to enjoy, however, is well-done, creative expansion. Who would be better to flex the reins than the individuals who have spent countless hours diving through the content?
The Overwatch Workshop Showdown starts now!— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) July 2, 2019
12 players battle it out in a series of community-created brawls. Tune in to vote for your favorite Workshop mode!
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Creating new spins on your favorite things has been something gamers have bonded over since "Castle Smurfenstein" nearly 40 years ago. These fun tweaks ended up paving the way for legitimate beloved titles today like League of Legends, Smite, and yes, even Overwatch. Each of these has its roots in a modification made to Blizzard's own Warcraft III, named "Defense of the Anicents"—which should sound familiar if you play any DOTA.
There have been whole communities born around this concept of additions, both helpful and silly, launched from the common love of a base game. After all, sites like NexusMods and CurseForge have a registered user base in the millions. Even Twitch offers add-on support for its larger titles.
Now, with the release of Overwatch Workshop, it looks like the Overwatch community will have a chance to capitalize on the fun.
“Players have all of these great ideas for what they want to see in Overwatch and I think a big part of the motivation for us was to give them a way to realize those ideas,” said Keith Miron, the lead gameplay engineer.
There have already been huge hits within the pocket of the Workshop creators. Prolific contributors like DarwinStreams have released modes with minds of their own like Overwatch Paint, Lúcio Pro Skater and the increasingly popular OverFighter. Sillier modes like the ability to control Moira's orb and several parkour-style maps are also available, as well as useful tools to help players visualize their place on the battlefield and hone their hero's skills.
You can even play a couple hands of Uno with your friends.
Hundreds of modes exist on the Workshop platform already being downloaded by a player base of over 40 million.
Overwatch is a game reaching new heights of popularity. With that will always come discourse, whether it's player-vs-player or player-vs-developer. While we all may never truly be on the same side, at the very least, we can still have a great time exploring our community's contributions together.
I can't wait to see what comes out of the Workshop next.
Photo courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment.