Overwatch 2’s launch on Tuesday has so far been less of a launch and more of a line: thousands of players, including some at PC Gamer, have been stuck in a long login queue. (opens in a new tab), only to encounter a connection error after making it to the menu. Blizzard president Mike Ybarra tweeted (opens in a new tab) this afternoon that this isn’t just the result of too many players trying to log in—Overwatch 2 is currently suffering a DDoS attack.
“Unfortunately we are experiencing a massive DDoS attack on our servers,” Ybarra wrote. “Teams are working hard to mitigate/manage. This is causing a lot of drop/connection issues.”
Distributed denial-of-service attacks direct large amounts of Internet traffic to specific servers, overwhelming them with more connections than they can handle. Cloudflare simplifies a DDoS attack as “an unexpected traffic jam clogging the highway, preventing regular traffic from arriving at its destination.” Cloudflare has an accessibility outage (opens in a new tab) on how hackers create botnets and use them to carry out DDoS attacks if you want a deeper understanding of how they work.
This isn’t Blizzard’s first DDoS rodeo: we’ve reported on DDoS issues affecting Battle.net and World of Warcraft in 2020. (opens in a new tab)2019 (opens in a new tab), and years before. A DDoS attacker who targeted WoW in 2010 even got jail time (opens in a new tab) to knock the MMO offline.
With an overwhelming amount of traffic hitting Blizzard’s servers, it may be hours until Overwatch 2’s login issues are ironed out; we will update with more when we have it.