An Amazon listing has the Internet stirring about a potential Switch port of Overwatch, but is it really a smart move for the popular shooter?
Since its launch, it seems like the list of games people want to be ported to the Nintendo Switch grows by the day. From low-key indie titles to complete pipe dreams, there’s no doubt Nintendo gets plenty of requests. One, however, tends to stand out above the rest.
That being Overwatch.
Rumors circulating about the ultra-popular Blizzard shooter being ported only intensified yesterday. A listing for an Overwatch-branded Switch carrying case was very quickly pulled from Amazon. While it was made by third-party company Power-A, the item was “officially licensed by Nintendo and Blizzard Entertainment.”
So, naturally, the Internet decided that it could only mean that the game is finally being ported after months and years of fan requests.
But for those people who really want it, I have just one question. Are you sure?
It’s not that shooters can’t work on Switch. We’ve seen success with Splatoon 2. Overwatch also isn’t an incredibly graphically-intensive game either and can probably run fine on the hardware. So what gives?
I’ll just cut to the chase. The fact that Overwatch is an online-only, multiplayer shooter just doesn’t seem conducive to the concept of the Switch.
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It’s a similar argument I made back when I wrote about Mortal Kombat 11‘s Switch version. While MK 11 does have offline modes, lacking its online functions on the go really defeated the purpose of getting it on Switch unless you’re strictly playing at home.
The only Blizzard game on Switch right now is Diablo III, and that offers offline support. This would make the decision to port a strictly-online game like Overwatch a puzzling one.
Imagine not being able to play the game at all because you’re not near Wi-Fi. Even if you do, good luck relying on teammates or opponents with potentially bad wireless connections.
While USB-to-Ethernet adapters do exist (and seriously, please consider getting one if you play online games on Switch), it’s not exactly something that’s been highly advertised or known about beyond presentations of Super Smash Bros.
That’s not to mention how players would be able to communicate with one another. Overwatch does have a big emphasis on teamwork, after all. Do you mean to tell me that people should be expected to use Nintendo’s awful method of voice chat on a game like this?
Not everyone’s going to have Discord readily available next to their system at home or on their phone. Something like this is just going to create more of a headache, and that’s not even mentioning the constant reports of toxic players within the game.
Sure, there’s no doubt Overwatch would sell extremely well on Switch at first. But I have a feeling that the honeymoon phase would be pretty short-lived once those who buy it realize what they’re getting into.
Twitter, Reddit and any other social media or online forum on the planet could blow up over issues that would be fairly obvious in hindsight. Something like that just wouldn’t be a good look for either Nintendo or Blizzard.
It’s just not a good idea. So what does something like this actually mean?
Many have speculated that maybe it means an Overwatch character, specifically Tracer, could be making her way into Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as DLC. Something like that makes total sense, especially since she’s on a pretty short list of reasonable Blizzard characters that could make it.
A Blizzard World stage would also not be a half-bad idea, with maybe some cameos or references to other properties like World of Warcraft, Diablo, Hearthstone and Starcraft.
There’s also the matter of the reported Overwatch sequel that’s in development. Word is we could potentially get an announcement in November at BlizzCon. Maybe the new game is coming to Switch and will include an offline campaign or PvE mode of some sort?
Or, you know, it could just be a friendly licensing arrangement between two gaming giants that means nothing at all beyond that.