Overwatch is more popular on Tumblr than any game, television show or movie. Data revealed by the microblogging platform reveals that the Blizzard multiplayer game is even more popular than GIFs.
Released on PC, PS4 and Xbox One just over a year ago, Overwatch now has over 30 million players across all platforms.
Overwatch is ‘Huge’ on Tumblr, Official Data Confirms
In a post by Tumblr as part of its ongoing Fandometrics series, the social media site revealed that between May 23, 2016—May 18, 2017 (358 days), posts tagged with #Overwatch saw almost 150 million engagements. The Overwatch tag was the second most trending tag during this time, eclipsing every other movie, TV show or game (#Pokemon was the next most popular game tag at number 20) while the #GIF and #art tags came in at fifth and seventh, respectively.
Tumblr also offers a break down of the most popular characters and Overwatch ships. Reaper is the most popular offense hero (20.07%), Junkrat for defense (32.36%), D.Va for tank (39.12%), Mercy for support (43.31%) and Efi Oladele (the girl genius who created Orisa) is the most popular non-playable character (52.71%).
McHanzo (McCree and Hanzo) is the most popular ship by far with 35.03% of the vote, followed by Reaper:76 (Reaper and Soldier:76) who got 17.03%, Pharmercy (Pharah and Mercy) with 12.69% and Widowtracer (Widowmaker and Tracer) with 9.08%. The top six popular Overwatch ships are same-gender if you include Genji’s ship with Zenyatta, who is male-coded.
While Overwatch is an incredibly popular game, the reason for its Tumblr popularity runs a little bit deeper than that. No doubt, the Overwatch team’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is one of the key reasons why the game is well-loved by Tumblr users who themselves are an incredibly diverse bunch.
The game isn’t always perfect, most notably with the cultural appropriation criticisms, but the game’s playable character roster features more women and people of colour than most other blockbuster shooters. In fact, the game has added three female characters post-launch, which has led to criticism from some, (and ridicule and mocking of that criticism on Tumblr.)
What also stands out is the fact that Overwatch also includes multiple LGBT characters. While just one person has ‘come out’ so to speak, as Tracer was revealed to be a lesbian in the Overwatch holiday comic, not everyone on the game’s roster is heterosexual or cisgendered.
Granted, Tumblr would still ship many of its well-loved same-gender pairings regardless of whether they are canonically gay or not and transgender headcanons would still abound. However, the assurances from the Overwatch team that the game is LGBT-inclusive is at least part of the reason why fans are so enthusiastic about it on Tumblr and on other social media websites.
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