Did someone say...peanut butter?
When Blizzard was first founded in 1991 as Silicon & Synapse, I was in grade school. My first introduction to its work was Rock n' Roll Racing and The Lost Vikings, which I rented on a lark, partially because of the weird box art (back when this was a major selling factor at rental stores, which don't even really exist anymore!). Throughout the years, the publisher formerly known as S&S was basically my first lifeline into a lot of different genres. Before Command and Conquer and KKnD, I had Warcraft.
While I had dabbled in dungeon crawlers before Diablo, it really wasn't until I started roaming the streets of Tristram that I really became deeply embedded in one, and understood the concept of grinding for loot -- it was also my first 56K (I feel like I have to link this so some of you aren't lost), and thus, online gaming experience. Over the years I'd share some of the studio's later works with the most important people in my life, having Warcraft III marathon sleepovers with the girl that eventually became my wife, and playing Diablo II with friends who had moved on to different parts of the country, but still remained part of me.
In 20 years, I bet people will be saying a lot of those same things about Overwatch.
We already explained why Overwatch is great mechanically when it won our PC Game of the Year award, but as it sidled up as our overall Game of the Year winner, I started to think about what made it so special. Maybe it's stories like this, about a young Egyptian girl who appreciated that she was being represented in a game. Maybe it's the wide array of post-launch support that comes in the form of free DLC, which includes the two very worthy character additions of Ana and Sombra.
But I think part of the reason it blew up is because Blizzard, after being satiated for so long with the StarCraft/Diablo/Warcraft universe, took a risk, and went all in on that gamble. It launched a whole new world of peanut butter loving gorillas and time-traveling pilots, believed in it, then closed its eyes and hoped that people bought into it. It was the first true new Blizzard IP in 20 years.
And it's not going anywhere.