Arrive in Style With Uberwatch at PAX East

Arrive in Style With Uberwatch at PAX East

Dressing up Ubers at conventions isn't a new idea, but sweet mother does Blizzard have it right with its Overwatch promotion, 'Uberwatch.'

You may have seen the similar promotion for Mad Max, but Blizzard's current execution of the custom Ubers idea is phenomenal. If you're not familiar, Overwatch is Blizzards upcoming team shooter, which is introducing a brand new universe in the Blizzard metaverse.

If you're at PAX East, you can't possibly miss these cars, much less their drivers, but for those of us not attending, these shots will have to suffice.

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The Tracer pose on photograph 11 is completely out of character for an Uber driver. I have been very pleased with Uber up until now, but now feel completely betrayed and violated. ;)

Cars and models are awesome! Well played, Blizzard.

...Really?

Blizzard really, really wants to make sure that Overwatch doesn't fall flat like Heroes of the Storm did.

Now I'm just hoping even more that it does, so that I can look back on stuff like this and have a good laugh over it. There's marketing, and then there's ridiculous.

SlumlordThanatos:

Blizzard really, really wants to make sure that Overwatch doesn't fall flat like Heroes of the Storm did.

How did you come to the conclusion that it fell flat? I ask that because I have not considered Heroes to have fallen flat, but I admittedly don't have much to base that on besides what I'm exposed to.

LetalisK:

SlumlordThanatos:

Blizzard really, really wants to make sure that Overwatch doesn't fall flat like Heroes of the Storm did.

How did you come to the conclusion that it fell flat? I ask that because I have not considered Heroes to have fallen flat, but I admittedly don't have much to base that on besides what I'm exposed to.

I don't hardly see anyone streaming it. I'm looking at the game on Twitch right now, and only 3,207 people are watching HotS streams. The game isn't even in the top 20 games on Twitch.

I don't hardly see anyone playing HotS in the Tech Center at my university, either. In fact, when Heroes of the Dorm tried to muster a team at my university...they couldn't. And I'm not at some dinky little community college, either; we have 25,000 students here.

Blizzard intended HotS to be the next big thing for MOBAs, and it's not even close to competing with LoL or Dota.

SlumlordThanatos:

LetalisK:

SlumlordThanatos:

Blizzard really, really wants to make sure that Overwatch doesn't fall flat like Heroes of the Storm did.

How did you come to the conclusion that it fell flat? I ask that because I have not considered Heroes to have fallen flat, but I admittedly don't have much to base that on besides what I'm exposed to.

I don't hardly see anyone streaming it. I'm looking at the game on Twitch right now, and only 3,207 people are watching HotS streams. The game isn't even in the top 20 games on Twitch.

I don't hardly see anyone playing HotS in the Tech Center at my university, either. In fact, when Heroes of the Dorm tried to muster a team at my university...they couldn't. And I'm not at some dinky little community college, either; we have 25,000 students here.

Blizzard intended HotS to be the next big thing for MOBAs, and it's not even close to competing with LoL or Dota.

How does any of that meet the definition of "falling flat?" That it's not as popular as LoL or DotA? Yeah, no shit, no-one was expecting HotS to be on their level.

Edit: On the actual subject, where's D.VA's mech? I call fail. :P
When I think of MOBAs that fell flat, I think of ones like Dawngate (canceled before release), Infinite Crisis (canceled after release), or Strife (sold off). HotS is in the position of at least getting regular updates, regular heroes, regular skins, regular articles on game sites, etc.

Uberwatch with a Huracan?
Fuck Tracer, give me the car.

Hell, do both.

Hawki:
How does any of that meet the definition of "falling flat?" That it's not as popular as LoL or DotA? Yeah, no shit, no-one was expecting HotS to be on their level.

Edit: On the actual subject, where's D.VA's mech? I call fail. :P
When I think of MOBAs that fell flat, I think of ones like Dawngate (canceled before release), Infinite Crisis (canceled after release), or Strife (sold off). HotS is in the position of at least getting regular updates, regular heroes, regular skins, regular articles on game sites, etc.

A game that I define as "falling flat" is a game that didn't meet expectations. HotS was fully intended to compete on the same level as League or Dota. Blizzard wanted another slice of that good ol' eSports pie, and pushed the eSports events it was featured in...only for the big names to slap it away.

Hell, even SMITE has three times the viewers on Twitch that HotS has.

HotS will continue to get updates and publicity because Blizzard, one of the biggest names in gaming, is still attached to it. But I would bet money that Activision-Blizzard executives are profoundly disappointed in the game's performance.

SlumlordThanatos:

Hawki:
How does any of that meet the definition of "falling flat?" That it's not as popular as LoL or DotA? Yeah, no shit, no-one was expecting HotS to be on their level.

Edit: On the actual subject, where's D.VA's mech? I call fail. :P
When I think of MOBAs that fell flat, I think of ones like Dawngate (canceled before release), Infinite Crisis (canceled after release), or Strife (sold off). HotS is in the position of at least getting regular updates, regular heroes, regular skins, regular articles on game sites, etc.

A game that I define as "falling flat" is a game that didn't meet expectations. HotS was fully intended to compete on the same level as League or Dota.

Source?

SlumlordThanatos:
HotS will continue to get updates and publicity because Blizzard, one of the biggest names in gaming, is still attached to it. But I would bet money that Activision-Blizzard executives are profoundly disappointed in the game's performance.

Well, I'm not a betting man, but I wouldn't take the same bet. HotS started off as a mod for SC2, and now it's more popular than the game it originally came from, at least in regards to the general populace. I also can't help but be skeptical of the idea that HotS was meant to eclipse DotA. Rift, I hazard, was meant to eclipse WoW, as its trailer incorporated the phrase "you're not on Azeroth anymore." I've never seen any promotional material from HotS do the same thing. The only time I've seen HotS refer to DotA was in an article based on the game's development, said article including:

"You guys don't get it. Dota is about shitting on people. That's what it's about," designer Justin Klinchuch said.

Browder remembers the moment well. "We look at him and said 'Well that's true, but is that the kind of game we want to make?"

They had spent years working on the item and gold systems. Creating the shop, balancing the items and making sure they all worked together. The item shop was a large part of what made up the genre. It impacted all aspects of the game's design.

"Oh no," Klinchuch said, as remembered by Browder. "I don't want to make that."

Source: http://www.polygon.com/2014/5/21/5723572/heroes-of-the-storm-making-of-blizzard

Sweet cosplays, a buddy of mine who went to Paxx got to see those up close and personal, quite envious of him. Too bad for Tracer's cosplayer, she was pretty darn close but needed Mr. Fantastic's powers to get legs as long as actual Tracer. :p

http://www.gamespot.com/articles/overwatch-branded-truck-gets-in-accident-at-pax/1100-6439140/

While I'm more enamored with Overwatch than Battleborn, the irony is delicious.

Hawki:
Source?

Why are you asking for a source for my opinion on something?

Well, I'm not a betting man, but I wouldn't take the same bet. HotS started off as a mod for SC2, and now it's more popular than the game it originally came from, at least in regards to the general populace. I also can't help but be skeptical of the idea that HotS was meant to eclipse DotA. Rift, I hazard, was meant to eclipse WoW, as its trailer incorporated the phrase "you're not on Azeroth anymore." I've never seen any promotional material from HotS do the same thing. The only time I've seen HotS refer to DotA was in an article based on the game's development, said article including:

"You guys don't get it. Dota is about shitting on people. That's what it's about," designer Justin Klinchuch said.

Browder remembers the moment well. "We look at him and said 'Well that's true, but is that the kind of game we want to make?"

They had spent years working on the item and gold systems. Creating the shop, balancing the items and making sure they all worked together. The item shop was a large part of what made up the genre. It impacted all aspects of the game's design.

"Oh no," Klinchuch said, as remembered by Browder. "I don't want to make that."

Source: http://www.polygon.com/2014/5/21/5723572/heroes-of-the-storm-making-of-blizzard

For starters, it didn't start off as a mod; that would imply that someone not associated with Blizzard created HotS. The article you linked says that it started off as a Blizzard project to make something neat with their commercial mod tools, and the idea took off from there.

Second, why would Blizzard throw their hat into the MOBA ring if they didn't intend to compete with League and Dota? Why would they try to push the eSports aspect of this game if they didn't think that they could get an audience for it? A game intended for the eSports croud requires a large audience, one that can regularly have a top-5 spot on Twitch, and have tens of thousands of viewers for their tournaments.

When HotS was released, they immediately announced tournaments, and advertised for them on the Battle.net client. They even tried to start a collegiate league. All of that tells me that they wanted to compete for the eSports crowd...a crowd dominated by League and Dota.

And they failed miserably.

If that's not falling flat on their face, I don't know what is. HotS is niche; it has a fanbase, and it receives balance and content updates. But it never caught on with its target demographic.

Hawki:
http://www.gamespot.com/articles/overwatch-branded-truck-gets-in-accident-at-pax/1100-6439140/

While I'm more enamored with Overwatch than Battleborn, the irony is delicious.

Me no see the irony here. But it did make me smile, I wonder how Blizzard will react to this.

SlumlordThanatos:

Hawki:
Source?

Why are you asking for a source for my opinion on something?

You stated that "HotS was fully intended to compete with League and DotA." So far you have yet to provide any evidence of that.

For starters, it didn't start off as a mod; that would imply that someone not associated with Blizzard created HotS.

http://heroesofthestorm.wikia.com/wiki/Heroes_of_the_Storm/Development

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBMN5stmv7o

It's an established fact that the first version of HotS, Blizzard All-Stars, was based on the SC2 engine, existed within that engine, and was meant to be released in the Arcade. It not being made by someone outside Blizzard doesn't change its status as a mod.

SlumlordThanatos:
Second, why would Blizzard throw their hat into the MOBA ring if they didn't intend to compete with League and Dota?

Are you seriously suggesting that any MOBA is, by definition, intended to compete with the most popular games of its genre? Obviously MOBAs tend to compete for attention by virtue of the fact that they usually represent a sunk investment (i.e. if I've spent x hours and gold on game y, why should I start over again in game z), that doesn't in of itself demonstrate direct competition. Considering that HotS did (and does) use terms like "hero brawler" rather than "MOBA" in order to distinguish itself from the nomanculture of the above games suggests that it wants to stay away from them as far as possible.

SlumlordThanatos:
Why would they try to push the eSports aspect of this game if they didn't think that they could get an audience for it? A game intended for the eSports croud requires a large audience, one that can regularly have a top-5 spot on Twitch, and have tens of thousands of viewers for their tournaments.

When HotS was released, they immediately announced tournaments, and advertised for them on the Battle.net client. They even tried to start a collegiate league. All of that tells me that they wanted to compete for the eSports crowd...a crowd dominated by League and Dota.

And they failed miserably.

The fact that Heroes of the Dorm exists at all, that there's been two tournaments in as many years since the game's release, does suggest success. It's like saying "game x didn't reach the heights of game y, ergo game x is a failure." Do you know how many other MOBAs have e-sports followings beside LoL, DotA, and Smite? Heroes of the Storm, Heroes of Newerth, and potentially Vainglory. Compare that to the number of MOBAs that have been released, period, and somehow HotS is a failure. Huh...

If you want some lists, compare this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_multiplayer_online_battle_arena_games

To this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_esports_games#Multiplayer_online_battle_arena

SlumlordThanatos:
If that's not falling flat on their face, I don't know what is. HotS is niche; it has a fanbase, and it receives balance and content updates. But it never caught on with its target demographic.

Well, here's what I'd call possible candidates for falling flat on its face:

-Failing to find an e-sports following (which it didn't, HotD is testament to that presence)

-Failing to find a core playerbase (which it possesses - just visit the HotS forums or fansites, or its YouTube or Twitter feeds)

-Receiving a low review score (looking at its overall reception, with 86% on Metacritic, I'd say that's a decent reception)

-Fading from the public conciousness (most people will probably have at least heard of HotS, and you'll usually see updates on gaming sites for new heroes or arenas)

-Shutting down, losing support, etc. (it's still going)

Meeting any of this criteria doesn't necessarily ammount to failure - no-one remembers Guardians of Middle-earth for instance, but I don't think I'd call it a failure per se - it's still going, after all. So, yeah. I don't see how this game has fallen "flat on its face." Not unless the metric of success is resting solely on gaining the same level of popularity as DotA or LoL. And I've never seen anyone, Blizzard or otherwise, claim that this was a likely outcome or a stated goal.

Bob_McMillan:

Hawki:
http://www.gamespot.com/articles/overwatch-branded-truck-gets-in-accident-at-pax/1100-6439140/

While I'm more enamored with Overwatch than Battleborn, the irony is delicious.

Me no see the irony here. But it did make me smile, I wonder how Blizzard will react to this.

Maybe "irony" is the wrong word. But it's the word that came to mind, in that Battleborn and Overwatch are competing for attention - Overwatch shoots itself in the foot, and Randy Pitchford of Gearbox (and therefore, Battleborn), is at the scene of the accident.

Hawki:
snip

So you mean to tell me that you think Blizzard is happy with the reception the game received?

You see, they're not going to tell us outright that the game didn't meet expectations; I imagine they would rather continue running tournaments and bleed money over them then admit defeat. They're also not going to tell us that they intended to become a big name in the MOBA scene; they just let the implications speak for themselves. The simple fact that Blizzard, one of the biggest names in gaming, is getting involved should tell everyone that they intend to make an impact. They poured huge amount of resources into making sure HotS got a huge eSports following; advertising and marketing deals, and even deals to get their tournaments televised on ESPN. That shit isn't an insignificant investment, and if you poor that many resources into something, you're pretty clearly aiming for a larger following than the one the game has now.

A game can be commercially successful and still be a failure, as paradoxical as that sounds. Just because something exists and does reasonably well doesn't mean that it can't fail to meet the company's expectations. Blizzard doesn't make a game if they don't think that it's going to make them enough money to buy them their sixth solid-gold yacht.

When someone as big as Blizzard throws their hat into a space occupied by industry giants, whether it's Counter-Strike or League of Legends, they HAVE to compete with them. Otherwise, they're just wasting their money. They're not like Hi-Rez Studios, a relatively small company who is happy if their game (SMITE) has a niche audience.

So, serious question: Do YOU think Blizzard is happy with the game's performance?

Because that is the only metric that matters.

SlumlordThanatos:

Hawki:
snip

So you mean to tell me that you think Blizzard is happy with the reception the game received?

You see, they're not going to tell us outright that the game didn't meet expectations; I imagine they would rather continue running tournaments and bleed money over them then admit defeat. They're also not going to tell us that they intended to become a big name in the MOBA scene; they just let the implications speak for themselves. The simple fact that Blizzard, one of the biggest names in gaming, is getting involved should tell everyone that they intend to make an impact. They poured huge amount of resources into making sure HotS got a huge eSports following; advertising and marketing deals, and even deals to get their tournaments televised on ESPN. That shit isn't an insignificant investment, and if you poor that many resources into something, you're pretty clearly aiming for a larger following than the one the game has now.

A game can be commercially successful and still be a failure, as paradoxical as that sounds. Just because something exists and does reasonably well doesn't mean that it can't fail to meet the company's expectations. Blizzard doesn't make a game if they don't think that it's going to make them enough money to buy them their sixth solid-gold yacht.

When someone as big as Blizzard throws their hat into a space occupied by industry giants, whether it's Counter-Strike or League of Legends, they HAVE to compete with them. Otherwise, they're just wasting their money. They're not like Hi-Rez Studios, a relatively small company who is happy if their game (SMITE) has a niche audience.

So, serious question: Do YOU think Blizzard is happy with the game's performance?

Because that is the only metric that matters.

Boiling this mostly down to that question, yes. I haven't seen anything that indicates otherwise.

I'll also point out that your assertion that Blizzard has to go big or go home doesn't match up with Hearthstone, and I would argue Overwatch. Blizzard "going big" has usually been unexpected (StarCraft, World of Warcraft, arguably Diablo II), and the "going big" seems to be more based on their sequels (StarCraft II, Diablo III).

Hawki:
Boiling this mostly down to that question, yes. I haven't seen anything that indicates otherwise.

I'll also point out that your assertion that Blizzard has to go big or go home doesn't match up with Hearthstone, and I would argue Overwatch. Blizzard "going big" has usually been unexpected (StarCraft, World of Warcraft, arguably Diablo II), and the "going big" seems to be more based on their sequels (StarCraft II, Diablo III).

Hearthstone is a special case; that was a pet project by a few Blizzard employees that wound up taking off. It has a small development team, and was cheap to make and maintain. It also didn't start to see marketing and advertising until after it had already taken off.

In contrast, Heroes of the Storm saw a large amount of advertising and marketing, and even had tournaments before the game was even released. I also imagine that the game was more expensive to make and maintain than a simple card game.

It's a simple matter of resources invested versus the return on that investment. Considering how much money Blizzard poured into the game, advertising, marketing, TV deals, and tournaments, surely Blizzard expected a bigger fanbase than...the 17th most viewers on Twitch?

Come on, this is Blizzard we're talking about. Anything that doesn't break sales records is a failure for Blizzard.

An example: at 10:38 CST, 4/24/16, Bjergsen (a LoL streamer) has about 35,000 viewers on Twitch. That's one streamer. At the same time, there are 4,356 people watching EVERY stream for HotS. One LoL streamer has nearly nine times the viewers of the entire HotS channel.

Do you really think that Blizzard is happy with the results they got out of HotS when you consider what they spent on it? Just because there is no statement saying that "Yes, we're disappointed with the game's performance", doesn't mean you can't look at the evidence that exists and draw conclusions from those.

I'll be blunt: there's no evidence that says the game was a failure. But, there is also no hard evidence saying that the game was a success by Blizzard's standards. There's no statement saying that Blizzard thinks the game was a success, just Metacritic numbers...and Twitch viewers.

Hawki:
http://www.gamespot.com/articles/overwatch-branded-truck-gets-in-accident-at-pax/1100-6439140/

While I'm more enamored with Overwatch than Battleborn, the irony is delicious.

I was reading my Twitter feed and according to MovieBob another one of them almost crashed today as well. Probably the cosplay outfits screwing with their ability to drive.

SlumlordThanatos:

Hawki:
Boiling this mostly down to that question, yes. I haven't seen anything that indicates otherwise.

I'll also point out that your assertion that Blizzard has to go big or go home doesn't match up with Hearthstone, and I would argue Overwatch. Blizzard "going big" has usually been unexpected (StarCraft, World of Warcraft, arguably Diablo II), and the "going big" seems to be more based on their sequels (StarCraft II, Diablo III).

Hearthstone is a special case; that was a pet project by a few Blizzard employees that wound up taking off. It has a small development team, and was cheap to make and maintain. It also didn't start to see marketing and advertising until after it had already taken off.

In contrast, Heroes of the Storm saw a large amount of advertising and marketing, and even had tournaments before the game was even released. I also imagine that the game was more expensive to make and maintain than a simple card game.

It's a simple matter of resources invested versus the return on that investment. Considering how much money Blizzard poured into the game, advertising, marketing, TV deals, and tournaments, surely Blizzard expected a bigger fanbase than...the 17th most viewers on Twitch?

Come on, this is Blizzard we're talking about. Anything that doesn't break sales records is a failure for Blizzard.

An example: at 10:38 CST, 4/24/16, Bjergsen (a LoL streamer) has about 35,000 viewers on Twitch. That's one streamer. At the same time, there are 4,356 people watching EVERY stream for HotS. One LoL streamer has nearly nine times the viewers of the entire HotS channel.

Do you really think that Blizzard is happy with the results they got out of HotS when you consider what they spent on it? Just because there is no statement saying that "Yes, we're disappointed with the game's performance", doesn't mean you can't look at the evidence that exists and draw conclusions from those.

I'll be blunt: there's no evidence that says the game was a failure. But, there is also no hard evidence saying that the game was a success by Blizzard's standards. There's no statement saying that Blizzard thinks the game was a success, just Metacritic numbers...and Twitch viewers.

I'm skeptical of much resources being poured into HotS. Heck, it didn't even get its own development team (Team 1 was split between SC2 and HotS) - its 'name change trailer' was done by Carbot, its cinematic trailer was cobbled together with reused assets, and I don't see any indication of it aiming for LoL/DotA level, when it was sold from the start as being the more accessible alternative.

So, yes, I can't cite any evidence of it being a failure. I can't cite any evidence of it being made to reach LoL/DotA standards, I can't cite any indication of the game getting particular priority (heck, even Hearthstone has its own development team, something that HotS doesn't have), and that HotS is one of the few MOBAs that meets the criteria I listed above, I can't conclude it as being a failure.

Hawki:
http://www.gamespot.com/articles/overwatch-branded-truck-gets-in-accident-at-pax/1100-6439140/

While I'm more enamored with Overwatch than Battleborn, the irony is delicious.

It gets better; Jesse Cox and Dodger were in the truck at the time.

 

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