The current COVID-19 pandemic has compelled many people to confine themselves at home. As gaming activity has been taking up activity time (even with the blessing of the WHO as a means of staying at home), Blizzard has picked a ripe moment to launch the first Middle East server for Overwatch players in the region.
Don’t interpret the visual in the above announcement that they have set up servers in all of the highlighted countries. Rather, there is only one server and a little bit of digging has shown that it’s based in Bahrain.
Blizzard’s Lead Engineer clearly stated in a previous Reddit thread that the company uses a mix of private cloud infrastructure and one public cloud provider (AWS). The availability of AWS Middle East makes it more convenient for them to set-up the extra capacity without much hassle.
The new server works for both PC and console (Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch) players of Overwatch. You won’t have to do any manual work to select it; the game’s Matchmaking system will easily connect you to the closest server. It runs with the latest 1.47 update, which also introduces a new hero to the game – Echo.
Activision’s recent quarterly filing states there are now more than 50 million players on Overwatch since its release; this includes the recent launch on the Nintendo Switch. How many of those are from the Middle East will remain a mystery.
If you had to quit playing Overwatch for a while, dust off that copy of the game and jump in with your hero. The new Middle East server will help to provide better ping and performance for players, whether it’s on PC or console.
Header image credit: Blizzard Press Room