Blizzard Entertainment is bringing its PC games to Steam, starting with the release of Overwatch 2 at Valve’s digital showcase on Aug. 10, Blizzard announced Wednesday.
Windows PC version of Overwatch 2, like many of Blizzard’s PC games, is currently only available through Battle.net. But with Microsoft’s impending acquisition of Activision Blizzard and declining player engagement in the game, the maker of Diablo, Warcraft and Overwatch appears to be changing its strategy.
Blizzard says it will bring “a selection” of its games to Steam, but didn’t specify which titles beyond Overwatch 2 will make the jump from Battle.net. (Several classic Blizzard games, including the original Diablo and the first two Warcraft games, are available through GOG.com.)
Embracing Steam as a platform for Blizzard games is part of the studio’s evolution, the company said in a blog post. “[O]One of the ideas that drives us forward is meeting players around the world where they are and making our games as easy as possible to access and play,” the company said. “We want to give everyone a chance to experience our universes with old friends while creating new ones, no matter how they choose to play.”
In its announcement, Blizzard said it is not leaving Battle.net. But, he explained, “as we’ve evolved, so has the industry—gaming is no longer just for specific communities like it was when Battle.net launched over two decades ago, gaming is for everyone—and while we remain committed to By continuing to invest in and support Battle.net, we want to break down barriers to make it easier for players everywhere to find and enjoy our games.”
“It’s our goal at Blizzard to listen to players and strive to exceed their expectations in everything we do,” Mike Ybarra, president of Blizzard Entertainment, said in a statement. “While Battle.net remains a priority for us now and in the future, we’ve heard that players want the choice of Steam for a selection of our games, ranging from Overwatch 2 […]. We are happy to work with Valve to make this happen.”
“Players and developers will both benefit Overwatch 2 coming to Steam,” said Gabe Newell, the president of Valve, in a statement. “Gamers will have another platform where they can play a beloved game that uses the capabilities of Steam, and developers will benefit from the effects of having to the talented team at Blizzard that helps us develop our features and supported functionality for Overwatch 2.”
Overwatch 2, a team-based, free-to-play shooter, “is the perfect title for Blizzard’s debut on the platform,” says Blizzard. Steam’s vast reach — 132 million monthly active users in 2021, according to Valve — will expose many more players to Overwatch 2which is getting a new season, new hero, new PvE missions and new PvP main game mode on August 10.
Blizzard says players on Steam will still need a Battle.net account linked to it Overwatch 2 to play the game. The Steam version will support Steam achievements and friend lists, but Blizzard did not announce support for the Steam Deck. Overwatch 2 can now be wishlisted via Steam.
As for Blizzard’s future plans for other Steam game releases, the company said it will “share more about other potential games coming to the platform when the time is right.”