Overwatch 2’s community manager Andy Belford has taken to the official forums to defend the game’s “support a streamer” promotion after backlash from the community.
To promote the launch of the second Overwatch 2 beta, Blizzard has partnered with 150 streamers to give away an exclusive Brigitte skin. Players will need to donate three subscriptions to any of the Twitch channels on the list, while they’re actively streaming Overwatch. According to the announcement, Twitch will then provide a code, which can be redeemed for the skin on Battle.net.
The event kicks off today (June 29) and lasts until July 20. However, a lot of streamers aren’t happy, with many feeling excluded by the promotion which includes some of the biggest channels on Twitch and features some streamers who rarely play Overwatch.
Rally to me!
Gift three subscriptions to your favorite participating @Twitch streamer to unlock Medic Brigitte (Legendary), June 29 – July 19.
— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) June 27, 2022
Taking to Twitter, FefeGG said: “What do I need to do to have some consideration? Literally one the biggest streamers on this game, organising competitions, creating a team, even managing to build a whole circuit with the FR community and reaching 4K+ viewers during finals…”
Another added “I expected to not make it of course, but there are so many people who DESERVE to be on this list that have been excluded. There are creators who have continued to stream this dead game for ten hours a day and Blizzard can’t even bother to thank them.”
The idea to only include big streamers in this is so bad. There's many regular OW streamers missing on this list, yet people who only stream when blizzard pays them are on here. Those gifted subs will be gone to waste since they'll only stream OW2 twice https://t.co/5JhsTaxBxx
— Youri (@Yourietje_ow) June 28, 2022
Responding to criticism on the forum, Belford wrote: “For this first event, we intentionally kept it to a limited list. This first Support A Streamer is for us to gather data and learn. Should it be successful, we’ll build on that and most likely expand availability.”
He went on to explain that “content creators are an important part of the community. Both in terms of community building for a certain segment, and in terms of driving both visibility and awareness of what’s happening with the game.
“Like it or not, traditional marketing is no more and content creators serve an important function in the existing ecosystem. What we’re focused on doing is providing opportunities for creators to be successful with Overwatch, so that creating content for the community is a more sustainable choice for them. The hypothesis is that this is a far better mechanism than just throwing piles of cash at people to stream the game, as that rarely yields long lasting positive results.”
For those looking for smaller streamers to support, here's a thread of folks I think you should check out during the Support a Streamer Event (thread 1/?)
— Andy Belford (he/him) 💙 (@andybelford) June 28, 2022
Following comments that the promotion should have focused on smaller, dedicated Overwatch streamers. Belford said: “To be transparent, there was never a world in which this promotion was only existing core Overwatch streamers. I feel as though we have a good mix of familiar faces and new folks who will bring plenty of new eyes to both the game and community.”