Blizzard Entertainment is making a big change and one which comes out of left field. Today, the developer announced it will start adding the PC versions of some of its games to Valve's Steam service. It will begin with its multiplayer team shooter Overwatch 2, which will launch on Steam August 10.
In a blog post, Blizzard stated that while it is still planning to support and invest in its long-running Battle.net online service, "we want to break down the barriers to make it easier for players everywhere to find and enjoy our games."
In hindsight, this is likely an easy decision for Blizzard. Steam remains the biggest platform for selling PC games worldwide, along with offering a multiplayer platform for games from small one-person developers to massive teams like the ones at Blizzard.
The Overwatch 2 Steam page is already live so people can go ahead and add it to their wishlist. Blizzard's announcement stated:
Players on Steam will still need to connect Overwatch 2 to a Battle.net account, as we require for all platforms, which enables cross-platform play and more. Players using Steam will have access to features of the platform while playing Overwatch 2, such as Steam achievements, their Steam friends list, and the ability to invite them to play in-game.
The move to Steam is also likely a way to get more interest in Overwatch 2 as a whole. Activision Blizzard's latest financial update admitted that "engagement and player investment in Overwatch 2 declined sequentially" in the company's last quarter.
The release of the game on Steam on August 10 means that it will be launched the same day as Overwatch 2: Invasion. This is a big game update, with Blizzard stating that it will have its "first-ever set of PvE Story Missions, a new core PvP game mode with two new maps, and of course, a new hero."
Blizzard has not offered any info yet on which of its other games will be made available on Steam.