Fresh off the last-minute cancellation of the Nintendo NY Overwatch launch event on Tuesday, the Blizzard and Nintendo relationship appears to be somewhat strained.
In what is either a bizarre set of coincidences or a concerted move from the Japanese gaming giant to distance itself from last week’s highly politicized controversy, Overwatch is the battleground on which this PR fight is being fought.
Purchases Down On US eShop and Promotional Radio Silence
Firstly, reports are coming in of Nintendo Switch users unable to purchase Overwatch via the Nintendo eShop, while the game is noticeably absent from the shop’s news feed seemingly for a tranche of users in the US. Further adding to the mystery is that the eShop in regions other than the US boast the promotion of recently launched title you’d expect, notably in Europe and Japan.
While Nintendo has happily pushed both The Witcher 3 and Fortnite Chapter 2 to center stage on its social channels, Overwatch is conspicuously absent even though Blizzard multiplayer shooter snatched the headlining slot in the most recent Nintendo Direct live stream. The shift is staggering from leading the charge of upcoming Switch’s releases to radio silence on launch day.
Additionally, others are reporting that Nintendo has relaxed its usual strict policy and is allowing the refund of Overwatch pre-orders.
Nintendo Switch Overwatch Port Slammed
It doesn’t help that the Switch port of Overwatch is in a pretty dire state and has picked up some pretty damning reviews from the gaming press’ heavy hitters. Kotaku says;
With today’s launch of Overwatch on Nintendo Switch, there is officially the worst way to play one of the best games of all time.
It’s too early to make heads or tails of the situation, but the timing suggests Nintendo is silently pulling off the gas while tensions surrounding the Blizzard fiasco simmer down.