Overwatch News

Here's our first look at Overwatch's Tracer in Lego form

UPDATE: Lego Bastion available now.

UPDATE 11TH OCTOBER: A Blizzard-exclusive Lego Bastion building kit is now on sale. It's ú22.50, and features an orange Omnic Crisis-coloured Bastion with friendly bird pal Ganymede on shoulder. Bastion can swivel at the waist like a salsa teacher, and move its arms. Apparently it's only available in limited quantities.

Esport "killer games" aren't right for Olympics, says IOC

"We cannot have ... a game which is promoting violence."

Don't expect to see esports in the Olympic Games any time soon. International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach believes the video games being played still promote violence and killing too much to be included.

It is a celebration of D. Va! Blizzard has unveiled a typically gorgeous new Overwatch animated short showing the Korea-defending backstory of D. Va, AKA Hannah Song, the former StarCraft pro turned elite government MEKA pilot; and Blizzard has revealed a Busan map for Overwatch based on a futuristic interpretation of South Korea's second largest city.

Overwatch is having another free weekend on PC

Get your Hanzo-n it this Thursday.

If you somehow haven't given Overwatch a try and are still considering doing so, you may want to give it a whirl this weekend, as Blizzard is making the game free on PC from 26th to 30th of July.

Next Overwatch update brings Brigitte's reign of terror to an end

Years of playing hero-based multiplayer games have taught me one thing: if I am having fun with a character that is probably because s/he is overpowered, because I am too rubbish to play characters who are properly balanced. This appears to be the case with Brigitte, the Overwatch healer-tank knight errant whose prowess with a mace left me speechless (and often, concussed) when she launched on public servers in March. Blizzard says her Shield Bash ability - the essential prelude to knocking a rampaging Doomfist into a pit - is too effective for comfort, and must be nerfed. For shame, Blizzard! Let the girl bash in peace.

The next and currently undated Overwatch patch will extend the cooldown on Shield Bash by a crucial second, giving opponents marginally more time to run away, flank her or nuke the shield before she smacks them upside the chops with it. "Shield Bash is Brigitte's strongest ability, and its short cooldown makes it very difficult to play around," Blizzard's Geoff Goodman writes on the official forum. "We'd like to keep her Shield Bash and subsequent melee combos powerful and effective, while just allowing a little more counter-play against it.

"We've talked about possibly reducing her defense somewhere, such as reducing her barrier health. However, her tank-hybrid nature is a core part of her kit and we want to make sure she maintains that feeling of being a difficult target to take down. Overall Brigitte's win rate is still the highest of any support, despite dishing out the lowest amount of raw healing per second. This speaks volumes to how powerful her kit can be outside of her direct healing numbers."

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Overwatch's new hero is a hamster

UPDATE: Wrecking Ball rolls out next week.

UPDATE 18/7/18: Wrecking Ball the hamster will roll out to all Overwatch players on Tuesday 24th July, Blizzard has now confirmed.

Overwatch's second anniversary brings back Seasonal Brawls

I wish it could be Christmas everyday (for about four weeks).

Overwatch turns two years old next Thursday and to celebrate, Blizzard is putting on an anniversary event featuring a new Deathmatch map, a bunch of new cosmetics and most of the previous Seasonal Brawls. It kicks off from the 22nd May.

Blizzard announces November dates for this year's BlizzCon

Blizzard has announced that this year's BlizzCon will take place on November 2nd and November 3rd, with tickets scheduled to go on sale in May.

BlizzCon 2018 will be held at the Anaheim Convention Center, California, and will feature the usual array of developer panels, Q&A sessions, cosplay, and contests. Attendees will also receive a commemorative BlizzCon goody bag containing "a cache of loot based on their favourite Blizzard games".

Tickets for the two-day event cost $199 USD and will be released in two batches. The first batch goes on sale at 7 pm PT on May 9th (that's 3am on May 10th in the UK), and the second will be made available on May 12th at 10 am PT/6pm in the UK. You can buy them here.

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Blizzard confirms Torbj÷rn's daughter Brigitte is the next Overwatch hero, offers first details

After several days of teasing, Blizzard has confirmed that Overwatch's next and 27th hero will be - as pretty much everyone had already assumed - "engineer turned valiant squire", and Torbj÷rn's daughter, Brigitte Lindholm.

Brigitte, of course, made her public debut in the Reinhardt-themed animated short Honor and Glory last year. According to her backstory, Brigitte grew up learning her craft from master weaponsmith Torbj÷rn, before leaving home to serve as her godfather Reinhardt's squire. You'll get a small glimpse of Brigitte's origin story in Blizzard's introductory trailer below.

That flavourful cinematic endeavour is accompanied by a rather more detailed, informative look at Brigitte, courtesy of Blizzard's Jeff Kaplan. According to Kaplan, Brigitte is a support character first and foremost, but, uniquely, shares a lot of traits more closely associated with the tank role, making for an "interesting hybrid character".

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Overwatch hero 27 in the spotlight as the teasing begins

UPDATE: Schematic of shield and... jetpack cat tweeted.

UPDATE 28TH FEBRUARY 9AM GMT: Another day, another tease, and it's more schematics for equipment. This time there's a design for a shield which looks a lot like Reinhardt's - check the lion's head in the centre - only smaller, given the measurements supplied and the words "kompakt!!" scribbled next to it. The similarities to Reinhardt's shield reinforce this being Brigitte, as she not only makes and mends his equipment, she's very close to him - him being a godfather figure to her.

Overwatch Blizzard World theme park map launches next week

UPDATE 22ND JAN: Tomorrow is patch day and ahead of the update Blizzard has revealed the new content coming to standard, non-event loot boxes. The most exciting are the new epic and legendary skins - pictures just below.

ORIGINAL STORY 17TH JAN: Overwatch's new Blizzard World theme park map finally has a release date: 23rd January 2018 - this coming Tuesday. That's on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. Patches typically roll out early evening in the UK.

It's not clear if there will be hero balance changes in the update but we do expect new loot box items, including at least eight new skins. Among them are Mei and Reinhardt skins taken from their origin animations; a StarCraft Nova skin for Widowmaker; a barbarian skin for Zarya; and some World of Warcraft-inspired skins for Torbjorn and Doomfist (pictures courtesy of the Overwatch subreddit).

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Overwatch League launches with a bang and dominates Twitch viewing figures

Overwatch League launches with a bang and dominates Twitch viewing figures

UPDATE: More than 10 million viewers during opening week.

UPDATE 17TH JANUARY: Activision has said more than 10 million viewers tuned in during Overwatch League's opening week, with more than 437,000 online at the same time during the opening Dallas Fuel vs. Seoul Dynasty match.

The Overwatch League website has digested the first week's action in a handy post, and updated the Overwatch League standings accordingly. You'll be pleased to know London Spitfire are joint top with two wins, no losses.

ORIGINAL STORY 11TH JANUARY: Overwatch has struggled as an esport but yesterday Blizzard's big hope, the new Overwatch League, launched with a bang.

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What we learnt from Blizzcon's Overwatch Archives panel

Including the Jetpack Cat that never was.

Overwatch fans learnt quite a lot from this year's Blizzcon announcements. We now know the story behind Reinhardt's scarred eye, that we will soon be seeing a new support hero and map and that Jeff Kaplan continues to be the nicest man in games development. But at the Overwatch Archives panel the team shared even more behind the scenes information, including a look at the game in early development and ideas left on the cutting room floor.

Overwatch PTR update changes Mercy yet again

Overwatch's Mercy has been nerfed in the game's latest PTR, not long after the hero's recent rework.

In the last major Overwatch patch both Mercy and D.Va were remodelled to help balance the game. Mercy's ultimate ability was changed from Resurrect to Valkyrie, a move which grants the support character amplified skills and the ability to fly, while Resurrect became a regular move, albeit with a 30-second cooldown and a smaller range.

Since the patch went live, Mercy's been the most popular support character because, let's be honest, she's super powerful. But Blizzard seems to think she might be over-powered and so is testing some changes on the PTR.

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Overwatch's Halloween event returns next week

UPDATE: Yet more skins leak.

UPDATE 9/10/2017: Three more skins for Overwatch's Halloween Terror event have leaked through Facebook advertisements. Earlier this week we saw McCree and Reaper's spooky themed skins, via promotional video, but now we get a look at Mei, Symmetra and Zenyatta's newest looks.

Overwatch update to let Mercy resurrect players as a regular move

Overwatch update to let Mercy resurrect players as a regular move

But only resuscitate one at a time with a 30 second cooldown.

Blizzard is making colossal changes to how Mercy plays. In fact, she could just as well be an all new character.

Available in the latest update to the Public Test Realm, Mercy's entire moveset has changed. Instead of only being able to resurrect players as her ultimate ability, she can now do this signature move as just a regular ability.

To balance this boost, the Resurrect move has been nerfed. Instead of rejuvenating everyone within a 15-meter radius, she can only resurrect a single target within a 5-meter radius. That's still pretty good, you may think, but it's counteracted by a 30-second cooldown.

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Blizzard confirms Junkertown as new Overwatch map

UPDATE 23rd August 2017: Popular Overwatch streamer Unit Lost was among the first play new map Junkertown at Gamescom and share a video.

ORIGINAL STORY 21st August 2017: Blizzard has confirmed Junkertown as the new Overwatch map.

In Blizzard's preview video for Gamescom, ahead of its full conference on Wednesday, the developer revealed the new escort map will be none-other than the home of the chaotic duo Roadhog and Junkrat.

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Overwatch console reporting feature arrives with next patch

Blizzard has announced a reporting feature will come to Overwatch on consoles when the latest patch goes live.

Writing on the official Overwatch forum, game director Jeff Kaplan revealed the news.

"Reporting on console will be available when patch 1.14 goes live (the patch that has DM and TDM and is currently on the PTR for testing).

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Battle.net renamed Blizzard Battle.net

Bigger name change rejected, new logo erected.

For nearly a year Blizzard has been threatening to change the name of its proprietary online multiplayer service Battle.net to the more on-brand Blizzard.net. That is the name of the company, after all, which would theoretically make things less confusing. However, after a scant few months under the new monicker Blizzard rethought this approach because the Battle.net name has been around for over 20 years (since the studio launched Diablo in 1996). Changing it now has led to bewilderment.

New Overwatch patch "drastically" reduces amount of duplicates

New Overwatch patch "drastically" reduces amount of duplicates

The best things in life come in small packages.

The latest Overwatch patch aims to drastically reduce the amount of duplicates players get. Finally!

In the patch notes for the new update, Blizzard said it wants "the experience of opening a loot box to feel exciting and rewarding".

To compensate for this reduction of duplicate items, Blizzard has increased the overall amount of credits you receive from loot boxes.

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Blizzard announces clampdown on bad Overwatch behaviour

Blizzard has promised to get tough on bad behaviour in Overwatch, "effective immediately".

Penalties for reported and verified bad behaviour are being increased to include silencing, suspensions and bans.

"We believe that our in-game reporting and player penalty system is one of our most important features, and it's something we want to invest in significantly over the next year," wrote community manager Lylirra on the official Overwatch forum.

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The next Overwatch map takes us to the moon

"Through the miracle of science!"

The next Overwatch map 'Horizon Lunar Colony' is set on the moon, the original home of Winston, the game's friendly gorilla scientist. What a great sentence that was to type.

New Overwatch tank hero Orisa goes live today

UPDATE: Significant Lucio changes revealed.

UPDATE 21 MARCH: Today's the day new tank hero Orisa goes live on all three Overwatch platforms: PC, PS4 and Xbox One. Patches usually arrive late afternoon/early evening, around 6pm GMT.

Bastion is "too powerful right now", says Overwatch director

"Balance changes can be very difficult to make when emotions run so high."

Overwatch public enemy number one, Bastion, was changed on Tuesday this week. The robot was supposed to become less of a glass cannon, losing some ranged accuracy and therefore damage in exchange for manoeuvrability and survivability. But now people are having a hard time killing Bastion at all.

Metabomb is hiring a Staff Writer!

The world could always use more heroes.

Metabomb - Gamer Network's competitive gaming site and sister-site of Eurogamer - is hiring a full-time Staff Writer to join the editorial team.

Blizzard wasn't kidding about an early 2017 release for Overwatch's next map, huh? We've been mucking around with Oasis on the Public Test Realm since late November, but it's now available on live servers for both PC and console players.

Blizzard apologises for Mei's divisive winter wardrobe

"Our 'cool meter' was off from yours on this one."

Overwatch's new Winter Wonderland event sought to highlight fan-favourite climatologist Mei by giving the character her own Snowball Offensive mode, but Blizzard's good intentions backfired as the developer saddled her seasonal content with a disappointingly lackluster Legendary skin. In fact, Mei's high-end holiday garb received such a poor reception that Blizzard has apologised for it.

Blizzard unannounced first-person project an Overwatch campaign?

On the Blizzard careers website are two adverts for an "unannounced game/project".

The software engineer adverts cite working with "a robust first-person engine for an unannounced project", and call "previous experience working on first-person or other action-oriented games" a plus.

That's it, no further clues, so what is the project? Our best guess: an Overwatch campaign. Which other first-person game and engine does Blizzard have?

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Overwatch's Symmetra is getting a choice of two ultimates

UPDATE: We take a look at her new photon barrier in action (it's brilliant).

UPDATE: Chris has been playing around with Symmetra's new build on the PTR today and has come away really impressed with her new photon barrier. If you use it correctly, you can effectively block a whole range of enemy abilities.

Overwatch: First Strike graphic novel cancelled

Overwatch: First Strike graphic novel cancelled

"We've ultimately decided to take the story in a different direction."

Overwatch: First Strike, the graphic novel covering the origins of Blizzard's popular competitive shooter, has been cancelled.

"While we are grateful to the team for the fantastic work they put into it, we've ultimately decided to take the story in a different direction," said Overwatch lead writer Michael Chu on the Battle.net blog.

"The original idea for the graphic novel dates back to the early days of the game's development and came from our desire to tell the story of the founding of Overwatch during the Omnic Crisis. In the years since First Strike's conception, we have done a lot of development on the universe and its stories. While the core of this story remains, we have changed and expanded upon how we see the events that took place during the first days of Overwatch."

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After her inevitable Blizzcon reveal, Sombra arrived on the Overwatch PTR last night and she's loads of fun. Fast-paced and with a bunch of weird abilities, I reckon she's one of the game's most interesting heroes to play.

Blizzard announces Sombra, new Arcade mode, new maps, and a professional Overwatch League

Blizzard has announced Sombra for Overwatch as well as an Oasis map, a new Arcade mode that will offer new game modes, rulesets and maps, and an entire professional eSports venture called Overwatch League.

Arcade mode will begin with 1v1 and 3v3 battles on a new map called Eco Point: Antarctica. That's where Overwatch hero Mei was posted as a researcher before something went wrong and she ended up cryogenically frozen for a decade. Cool! He made that joke too.

Sombra and the 3v3/1v1 game modes, as well as the Eco Point: Antarctica map, will be on the Public Test Realm next week. The Oasis map, which wasn't detailed, will be available to test in December.

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Picture of new Overwatch character Sombra found on Blizzard servers

UPDATE: Something happened. It was rubbish.

UPDATE 2ND NOVEMBER: Something did happen yesterday - a groan. Blizzard released a small Sombra hacking-themed ARG, another one, that amounted to a countdown, another one. Mercifully this new countdown points to BlizzCon this weekend where we expect Sombra to actually be unveiled and also maybe released.

Overwatch's D.Va to be an announcer in Starcraft 2

Overwatch's D.Va to be an announcer in Starcraft 2

D.Va and Kerrigan in the same game? Is this a crossover episode?

Blizzard is bringing Overwatch's mech-riding esports-playing badass D.Va to Starcraft 2 as an announcer.

Available to BlizzCon attendees and Virtual Ticket holders, and going on sale at a later unannounced date for everyone else, this will be the first character outside of the Starcraft canon to appear in-game, even if it's just as an announcer.

This crossover breaks the fourth wall, but in a sensible way as D.Va is a professional gamer. "Although D.Va is known most recently for her activities within the Overwatch organization, her journey began in the StarCraft esports scene, where she became the #1 ranked player in the world at the age of 16," Blizzard explained in its announcement. "Her StarCraft experience makes her uniquely qualified to support you in-game!"

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The Overwatch kid who challenged ageist stereotypes

"We tend to say sorry about our squeaky voices..."

The stereotype is that kids are raucous in competitive online games. Switch that chat off before you're verbally assaulted for being rubbish, Granddad. But what if the slipper were on the other foot and it were actually kids being targeted and pushed around - and simply for sounding young?

What we expect from Blizzcon 2016

Sombra? Hearthstone expansion? More?

This year's Blizzcon schedule has been revealed, giving us some idea of what to expect from Blizzard's big ol' knees up come the start of next month.

Overwatch team working on two new heroes and six maps

And significant changes to Symmetra.

As much as I love Overwatch, I tire of some of the maps and heroes - and I don't play anywhere near as much as some people. The arrival of one new map (Eichenwalde) and one new hero (Ana) since the game's launch in May - nearly five months ago - isn't a lot.

Why can big-bellied Overwatch hero Roadhog hook people who are standing behind walls and pull them towards him? It's one of the most satisfying moves in the game, but because of all the physical variables involved in yanking someone from one place to another, and the lag, it's also one of the most problematic.

Blizzard story overlord Chris Metzen retires aged 42

"I won't lie - it's going to be really hard stepping away."

Chris Metzen is retiring. He's leaving Blizzard Entertainment after more than 20 years' service. He, the overseer of story at arguably the world's most successful game maker. He, the earring-wearing cool guy on the BlizzCon stage. He, the voice of Thrall. Retiring. And he's only 42.

Meet the first person to reach level 1000 in Overwatch

"I play like 16-17 hours per day."

His name is Maxime, and he's French. He apologises for his bad English but his written answers to my questions are fine. Maxime claims to be the first Overwatch player in the world to reach level 1000. You might know him better by his Overwatch name Tazzerk.

Good morning and happy Friday, here are Overwatch characters reimagined as dogs. No need to do anything else today, off you go, weekend has started. Do you know, I've had to sit on this story since yesterday - apparently Thursdays are too serious.

Overwatch fans had expected something to happen yesterday, following months of cryptic hints and speculation surrounding the identity of the game's next hero. With no big character reveal happening at this year's Gamescom, players were quick to point out that perhaps we'd hear something about Overwatch's 23rd playable hero on the 23rd day of the month.

Overwatch "taking action" against Lucio Ball exploiters

Plus: Competitive play season one pay-outs divulged.

In Overwatch, Lucio Ball is called Lucio Ball because only Lucio is allowed to play. Not D. Va, not Reinhardt, not anyone else. If anyone else shows up in your three-on-three ball game then it's a bug. And now that people have found a way to trigger the bug: it's an exploit.

"ARE THEY GONNA BAN ME FOR USING PAINT NOW TOO"

Oh the things banned Overwatch cheats say.

Oh dear there appears to have been another wave of Overwatch bans, Blizzard primarily - or most noticeably - turfing out cheaters using triggerbots, which automatically shoot when the crosshairs are placed over an enemy. And I'm afraid to say some people aren't happy about it.

UPDATE 21ST JULY: Lost PS4 Overwatch progress appears to have been restored. The reader who originally contacted us confirmed as much, telling me all progress as well as coins and loot box content had been restored. And it's a similar story for people in the Overwatch forum thread, who say their rewards have been returned.

Our first look at Overwatch's new hero, Ana

UPDATE: Watch Bratt play her on the PTR.

UPDATE: I've just been hands-on with Ana on the Overwatch Public Test Realm. I like her! Despite not being quite as accurate as I would have liked, I still felt incredibly useful to my team. Everything she does, helps.

Overwatch updated to address Competitive Play skill rating issues when people leave games

Overwatch updated to address Competitive Play skill rating issues when people leave games

UPDATE: Change definitely live but Blizzard concerned calculations "don't make sense" to players.

UPDATE 12TH JULY: The reason people weren't seeing the below change in effect was because of a bug, Blizzard has explained. The change is definitely live now.

"At this time, we can confirm that the change is live and, according to the data that we have, has been working correctly since last Friday night," wrote Lylirra, community manager, on the Overwatch forum. "While leavers previously had an impact on how Skill Rating was adjusted, they don't appear to anymore (and haven't for a few days)."

Lylirra added - acknowledged, perhaps - that "it's not always clear right now why your Skill Rating is adjusted the way it is", as it takes into account other factors besides how many people are on each team. "That's a concern for us," she said, "because we not only want Skill Rating to be accurate, but also for it to make sense. The fact that it doesn't is good feedback for us, and seeing how we can make Skill Rating feel better/be clearer is definitely something we'll be keeping in mind as we look at ways to improve Competitive Play for future seasons."

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Overwatch patch fixes Zarya, Winston and Mercy bugs

Overwatch patch fixes Zarya, Winston and Mercy bugs

Shortens Competitive Play Sudden Death timers.

Overwatch was patched overnight on PC, PS4 and Xbox One to adjust Competitive Play Sudden Death timers downwards (times listed below) and also to fix a few hero bugs (on PC only).

Patch 1.0.5.1B sees to the damage-scaling issue with Zarya's right-click bomb shot. Her damage was getting stuck at high values despite her shield-gotten charge depleting.

There's a useful tweak for Mercy to stop beams disconnecting from an ally when switching quickly between heal and damage-buff, or when pressing two mouse buttons at once, or while turning away.

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Blizzard pays tribute to Overwatch fan killed in accident day before launch

Blizzard has paid tribute to Overwatch fan Wu Hongyu, who passed away on 23rd May, the day before the game's launch.

As reported by Redditor rebirdhk, the Control Center map of Lijiang Tower now has the name Hongyu beside an astronaut suit with a phrase that translates to "heroes never die."

Redditor czhihongMercy posted a picture of a chat log Hongyu had been in the day he passed away, which they translated to "Hey guys, is anyone else really waiting for the launch tomorrow[?]"

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Overwatch Competitive Play is launching today on PC

Overwatch Competitive Play is launching today on PC

Consoles versions due next week.

Overwatch's highly anticipated Competitive Play mode is launching today on PC. That's the good news.

The bad news is that console players will have to wait until next week.

"We don't have an exact date to share, but we can confirm that the patch is going through approvals right now on both platforms," Blizzard said in a forum update.

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Is Blizzard scrubbing the internet of Overwatch porn?

Or is the publisher simply protecting its assets?

Overwatch is such a phenomenon that Blizzard's latest multiplayer shooter has inspired a slew of fan-made porn based on the game. This too has been rather popular as Pornhub realised people searched for Overwatch-related porn 817 per cent more on 5th May when the open beta went live. But now it appears Blizzard is clamping down on Overwatch porn - or at least sexual content that uses assets from the game.

Here's help with finding the perfect Overwatch group

Our sister site MetaBomb has teamed up with matchmaking tool The100.

Quite a few of us in the office have become rather smitten with Overwatch, Blizzard's first foray into the first-person shooter market that's due out in just over a week from now. There's lots of cleverly designed heroes, loads of maps, and we think there's going to be a lot of love for the game.

Overwatch open beta had 9.7m players

Overwatch open beta had 9.7m players

Blizzard's biggest beta ever.

Overwatch's open beta had an astounding 9.7m players globally when it premiered last week on PS4, Xbox One and PC.

That's the biggest open beta Blizzard has ever had.

In the five days the beta was live folks spent more than 4.9bn minutes (that's over 81m hours) playing it.

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Overwatch open beta extended by a day

Overwatch open beta extended by a day

Still time to Winston games.

Blizzard has extended the Overwatch open beta by a day.

It was supposed to end this evening. It will now run until 10am PDT on 10th May - that's 6pm UK time tomorrow.

"We hope everyone has been enjoying the Overwatch Open Beta," community manager Lylirra wrote in a post on Battle.net.

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No Overwatch Competitive Play during open beta

No Overwatch Competitive Play during open beta

UPDATE: Game won't change from now until launch, but a "TON" of content coming after.

UPDATE 6TH MAY:

There won't be any major changes to Overwatch from open beta to launch. "The version you are playing now is what will go live at launch," wrote game director Jeff Kaplan on the game's official forum. The open beta is live now (try it if you haven't) and runs until Monday, 9th May. The full game launches 24th May - argh, what a wait!

The most notable missing feature in the game right now is Competitive Play which, as outlined below, debuted briefly in the closed beta in April. Kaplan mentioned again that this feature would be reintegrated "shortly" after launch, and added, "We also never want to sacrifice the quality of the game by putting something live that isn't up to our standards."

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Overwatch closed beta is ending next week

Overwatch closed beta is ending next week

But the open beta will follow in early May.

Overwatch's closed beta is coming to an end on 25th April at approximately 6pm UK time.

Blizzard specified that no new players will be invited to the closed beta in that time.

Of course, the game will enter an open beta on all platforms (PC, PS4 and Xbox One) from 5th-9th May, while pre-order customers who reserve the game prior to 29th April will gain access to it on 3rd May.

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Overwatch beta adds new season-spanning Competitive Play mode

Overwatch beta adds new season-spanning Competitive Play mode

Penalises players who bail too often mid-game.

There's a new Overwatch closed beta update and it adds an all new ranked mode.

Dubbed Competitive Play, this new mode is "Designed for those seeking a more serious challenge," Blizzard wrote in its forum. The new mode lets players "rank up though a series divisions and tiers in monthly seasons."

You'll have to be at least level 25 to partake in this more hardcore competition, and the matchmaking will try to pit teams against those of similar size.

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Blizzard pulls Overwatch hero after latest patch turns him invisible

The Overwatch beta received a big patch today that amongst other things introduced competitive play and replaced that Tracer victory pose.

But, more amusingly, Blizzard was forced to temporarily remove character Soldier: 76 after a new skin allowed players to turn him invisible. This, as you'd imagine, was not intentional.

The update added two new skins: Commando: 76 and Night Ops: 76. Although it's not clear which one caused the invisibility bug, both sound appropriately sneaky.

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Overwatch's Tracer has a new pose

More strut than butt.

Following last week's somewhat lively discussion, Overwatch hero Tracer has now seen the victory pose accused of reducing her to "another bland female sex symbol" replaced.

You can play Tracer in Heroes of the Storm before the Overwatch open beta

Pseudo-British Overwatch hero, Tracer will be playable in Heroes of the Storm a whole two weeks prior to the launch of Overwatch's open beta.

Heroes of the Storm players who pre-purchase a digital copy of the Overwatch: Origins Edition on PC will unlock Tracer from the 19th April, with everyone else being able to purchase her from the 26th.

Although Overwatch is currently running an invite-only beta, it doesn't expand to an open beta until the 3rd May.

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Overwatch release date confirmed

Overwatch release date confirmed

UPDATE: Open beta for all platforms coming in early May.

UPDATE 07/03/2016 5.10pm: Blizzard has confirmed Overwatch's release date as 24th May for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

Right stick with me here, the next bit is a little confusing.

There's an open beta planned on all three platforms from 5th-9th May and everyone will have access to that, wherever you decide to purchase the game. However, you'll get even earlier access from the 3rd May if you pre-order digitally, or purchase from select retailers. In the UK, that'll be GAME.

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Watch: Overwatch's progression system detailed

No level cap! Loads of Loot! Beta now live!

UPDATE: Don't want to read words? Well here's Chris Bratt to save the day with an overview of Overwatch's recently announced progression system in video form. Look at the pretty pictures. Listen to his dulcet tones.

Overwatch closed beta returns next week

Overwatch closed beta returns next week

Adds a new game mode, two new maps, and AI matches.

Overwatch's closed beta is returning on 9th February in Europe and the Americas (and 16th February in Asia) after Blizzard took it offline in December to make improvements.

It was originally supposed to return in January, but the developer delayed it so it could fine-tune a new game mode.

It's unclear what that new game mode is just yet, but Blizzard noted in its announcement that the closed beta will include such a mode along with the following enhancements:

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Overwatch closed beta delayed until February

Overwatch closed beta delayed until February

New game mode to be included.

Overwatch's closed beta was planned to relaunch in January, but it's been delayed until next month, Blizzard has announced.

The reason for the delay? Blizzard is adding a new mystery game mode.

"One of the things we noticed players consistently mentioning was their desire for more game modes in Overwatch, in addition to Point Capture and Payload. Without getting into specifics, we are working on a new game mode," game director Jeff Kaplan wrote on the Battle.net forums.

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Overwatch beta to go offline next week

Overwatch beta to go offline next week

Will return in "mid-to-late January".

Blizzard will be taking the closed beta of Overwatch offline on 10th December, the developer has announced.

The good news is it will be brought back online in "mid-to-late January". Players who have access to it now will retain access to the alpha when it returns in 2016.

Furthermore, more players will be added to the closed beta upon its return. "We do plan to invite more players to the Closed Beta after it comes back online," Blizzard stated. "The exact timing and how many players are invited will be determined by our testing needs."

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Overwatch beta now live in Europe and America

Overwatch beta now live in Europe and America

Qualifying players gain access to Blizzard's new game over the next 12 hours.

The closed beta for Overwatch, Blizzard's upcoming arena shooter, is now live in Europe and America.

Those who have opted into the beta selection process and have been chosen to participate in this first wave will have access to the game automatically applied to their Battle.net accounts during the next 12 hours. If you've yet to sign up for the beta, you can still do so by logging into your account.

Earlier today, Blizzard warned its playerbase to ignore phishing emails purporting to provide them with their beta key. No keys will be issued at this stage of the beta programme, and so any official-looking emails are instead from someone looking to get their grubby hands on your hard-earned WOW gold and the like.

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Overwatch closed beta begins this month (in the Americas)

Overwatch closed beta begins this month (in the Americas)

Open beta weekends to follow shortly thereafter.

Blizzard has outlined its beta plans for its upcoming competitive first-person shooter Overwatch.

There are actually going to be two different betas: a closed one for gameplay feedback, and an open one as a network stress test.

The closed beta will launch on 27th October for the Americas, and will gradually make its way to Europe and Asia, in that order, as more players are introduced.

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Blizzard's new Overwatch gameplay videos show complete, unedited matches

Blizzard's spent the last week-and-a-half putting out complete, unedited 60 frames per second matches of its in-development team-based shooter Overwatch, and we've rounded them up.

Overwatch is similar to Valve's Team Fortress 2, but takes inspiration from MOBAs in terms of map mechanics and hero designs.

Each of the videos focuses on one of the game's heroes. The latest showcases Japanese bowman Hanzo, and takes place on King's Row, a Point Capture / Payload hybrid map set in England.

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Is Overwatch related to Blizzard's failed MMO Titan?

"There are things from Titan in Overwatch, but…"

When Blizzard announced its new shooter Overwatch at BlizzCon, a question immediately presented itself: was this project related to - possibly even a repurposed portion of - its cancelled massively multiplayer game, codenamed Titan?

Blizzard details Overwatch, its upcoming competitive first-person shooter

Blizzard details Overwatch, its upcoming competitive first-person shooter

"We wanted to give players other things to do than put crosshairs on targets."

Blizzard is a known quantity in the video games industry having delivered such megahits as World of Warcraft, Diablo, Starcraft, and most recently Hearthstone, but its announcement of Overwatch, a competitive first-person shooter, was met with equal parts excitement and trepidation. Blizzard's never made a shooter before and the genre is already overcrowded as is. Could the studio that made Kerrigan a known gaming icon compete in the same space as Team Fortress 2, Call of Duty and Halo?

The company behind WoW is confident that it can as it suggests Overwatch will feel unlike other games currently occupying this space. "Back in 2002 with World of Warcraft, we skimmed a lot of comments [saying] 'what business does Blizzard have in the MMO category? You guys don't know what you're doing. You're the RTS company!' But we figured it out, with your guys' help, and we plan to do that same thing with the shooter," said game director and Blizzard vice president Jeff Kaplan at a BlizzCon panel earlier today.

"What we like to do is look at genres we love and sort of revere and think of all the ways that we can bring out the best elements of those genres," he added.

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