Running into unexpected obstacles during important events isn’t uncommon, but when the obstacles in question happen to be bugs and massive distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, and the event is the launch of the sequel to a very popular multiplayer shooter game, then the stakes just get higher. This is exactly what happened at the free-to-play launch of Overwatch 2, whose beginning could not have gone worse.
The launch of Overwatch 2 was marred by not just one but two DDoS attacks, which resulted in erratic matchmaking and other issues such as users getting stuck on the loading screen, connection issues, or encountering one error after another. If you were waiting to get your hands on the game and encountered similar problems, then you are not the only one.
“Unfortunately, we are experiencing a mass DDoS attack on our servers,” Blizzard Entertainment President Mike Ybarra confirmed the development on Twitter. He added that teams were working hard to mitigate the damage and manage the situation.
Unfortunately we are experiencing a mass DDoS attack on our servers. Teams are working hard to mitigate/manage. This is causing a lot of drop/connection issues. https://t.co/4GwrfHEiBE
— Mike Ybarra (@Qwik) October 4, 2022
Overwatch 2 was supposed to be the grand sequel to the original Overwatch, the team-based multiplayer first-person shooter game that was developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment six years ago. Over the years, it rose in popularity and prominence to grab numerous accolades and awards and generate billions in revenue. Overwatch 2 is cut from a similar cloth, though there are subtle changes such as new heroes, being free-to-play, and teams of five instead of six. Gamers can play both PvP and PvE modes on Overwatch 2 on a host of platforms – PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, and PC – and players can team up with their friends no matter which platform they’re on.
Unfortunately, the hype for the game saw players encounter “Unexpected Server Errors,” incorrectly locked Heroes, getting dropped from matches, and a host of additional bugs such as being unable to log in to their accounts, which meant that social media – especially Twitter – was full of posts and memes about players expressing their dissatisfactions and highlighting the problems. Some players claimed to have experienced queues of as many as forty thousand other players.
And players do not have the option to hop back on the original Overwatch, given that its servers were shut down on October 3 ahead of the release.
A launch that went awry due to a double dose of DDoS attacks from unknown sources. Blizzard is looking into the server issues, and director Aaron Keller shared an update that the company was making steady progress on server issues and stability even as they encountered the second attack. “We’re all hands on deck and will continue to work throughout the night. Thank you for your patience – we’ll share more info as it becomes available,” read Keller’s tweet.