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Activision Blizzard (ATVI) Launches Overwatch 2 With Battle Pass

Activision Blizzard ATVI recently launched Overwatch 2, the sequel to Blizzard Entertainment's popular team-based shooter game.

The follow-up to the multiple award-winning strategic first-person shooter's business model introduces a Battle pass system for the Overwatch community. Battle pass is similar to that found in Call of Duty, where players work through sequential levels of prizes depending on how much and how well they play.

During the Tokyo Game Show, this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company revealed the new support hero coming to Overwatch 2: Kiriko. With a combination of powerful abilities that are both offensive and defensive in nature as well as some excellent mobility tools, Kiriko is an incredibly effective character to support players that love to get into the thick of the action. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

In recent years, blockbuster titles such as Overwatch 2 have become popular targets for DDoS attacks. In September, players were unable to access Call of Duty titles, World of Warcraft and Overwatch after a massive DDoS attack took Activision Blizzard’s PC servers offline. World of Warcraft Classic players were cut off from the game in 2019 when Blizzard’s servers were hit by DDoS attacks.

Overwatch 2's PVP element is available for early access on PC, PS4, Xbox One, PS5, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and Nintendo Switch, with PvE to be released sometime in 2023.

Competition Intensifies Amid Solid October Releases

The lead-up to the holidays is always an important time for new video games, and Activision Blizzard has proved that with its two major releases scheduled for October – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Overwatch 2.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is a direct sequel to the 2019 reboot, which was praised for its campaign and gameplay but did face some criticism over the realism of its violence and the way it handled some darker themes contained within the story.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 will be looking to build on the strong foundations of its predecessor, which managed to bring a slew of impressive updates and improvements to the tried and tested gameplay.

Joining the long-awaited sequels, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Overwatch 2 are some other exciting releases like A Plague Tale: Requiem, Gotham Knights, and Bayonetta 3, giving Activision Blizzard some stiff competition and gamers a diverse lineup of new titles to enjoy.

Microsoft MSFT is currently seeking approval from every competition regulator in the nations Activision Blizzard and Microsoft operate. UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has voiced reservations that this acquisition could hurt competition in gaming consoles, subscription services and cloud gaming if Microsoft refuses to give competitors access to Activision's best-selling games.

As part of its plans for gaming beyond just Xbox consoles, Microsoft intends to pursue a principled path in its approach to Xbox Game Pass and Call of Duty. Microsoft will make Overwatch, Diablo, and Call of Duty available in Xbox Game Pass but not prevent games like Call of Duty from being available on PlayStation.

Activision is also facing stiff competition from Electronic Arts EA and Take-Two Interactive TTWO. Madden NFL 23 and the most expansive FIFA game are going to strengthen EA’s portfolio. The company expects net bookings for second-quarter fiscal 2023 to be in the range of $1.725-$1.775 billion.

Take-Two Interactive’s top line gains strong revenues from GTA and Red Dead Redemption, and also from the acquisition of Zynga. The company expects fiscal 2023 revenues to jump 73.3% year over year.


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