[Update] Overwatch Confirmed For May Release, Open Beta Detailed
Update: Blizzard has formally announced that Overwatch will be releasing at the end of May. A two-stage open beta period will run during the beginning of the month.
If you pre-order, you'll get access to an exclusive head start period on May 3 and 4. From May 5 through 9, everyone will be able to play for free during an open beta. Overwatch will release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
Blizzard says that open beta codes access will be linked to purchases via its own shop. Alternatively, many retailers will distribute codes for your platform prior to May 3. You'll get one for yourself and another for a friend.
Your progress from closed beta and the upcoming open test will not carry over to the full game. That means your rewards, cosmetics, stats, and progression will all be reset for the May 24 launch.
Original Story (March 7, 2016 @ 7:15 a.m. Central):
It looks like Overwatch and Battleborn are going head-to-head. According to an advertisement that allegedly appeared early, pre-order early access begins at the start of May and the Blizzard expects to release the game later in that month.
The ad wrap allegedly appeared on IGN briefly before being removed. Two images were captured by Reddit user “Deadpoolthegreat,” that paint the picture.
The first is from the mobile version of the site promising early open beta access for pre-orders beginning on May 3. The latter is the desktop version that indicates the game will be out on all three platforms - PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC - on May 24.
This pits Overwatch directly against Battleborn, a game to which it has been compared (though the differences are profound). Gearbox’s “hero shooter” will be out on May 3.
We’ve reached out to Blizzard for comment and will update should we receive a response. For now, you can check out a recent Test Chamber showing the second phase of the closed beta.
Ad wraps (or "site takeovers" as they are sometimes called) are designed by the publisher’s marketing department or in concert with the publication’s sales team. If these images are accurate, there is a good chance these are the dates.
It’s possible that these were mock-ups that got pushed and the information is inaccurate. However, with the number of retailer and advertising leaks growing over the past few years, there is a good chance this is real.