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Blizzard Entertainment released some specifics on the Overwatch open beta that ran from May 5 through May 9 last week, with players who preordered gaining early access to the beta on May 3. 

Over the course of the beta, the team shooter managed to attract 9.7 million players, playing more than 4.9 billion minutes in over 37 million matches making this beta the largest beta ever, beating the number 2 Star Wars Battlefront by about 200.000 players. 

We’re thrilled that such an incredible number of players from around the globe got a chance to check out Overwatch during the Open Beta.

Our mission was to make sure as many console and PC gamers as possible could experience the full game ahead of its launch—the response was overwhelming, and we hope that everyone had a blast.

-Mike Morhaime, Blizzard Entertainment CEO

In fact, the beta was so popular that according to SteamSpy many of the most popular games on Steam lost up to 15% of their peak concurrent users. Counter-Strike: Global OffensiveTeam Fortress 2Civilization V, and Garry’s Mod were among the games that counted such a loss, although Valve’s Dota 2 reported no similar loss of players.

Overwatch is now very close to release. The game, inspired by the likes of Team Fortress 2, pits players against each other in 6v6 matches where players constantly need to adapt to a fluid in-game meta by mixing and matching the 21 different heroes while they’re capping points, defending points or escorting a payload to the enemy base.

If you had to miss the beta for whatever reason, we got you covered! You can read Alex’s impressions of the open beta right here

Overwatch is Blizzard Entertainments first new IP in 15 years and is scheduled to release on May 24 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.


Quick Take

I played a ton of the open beta over the weekend and I was surprised by how well designed the heroes and the levels were, and how varied the different heroes were. In no way did it feel like Blizzard’s first shooter either, which makes me confident that this will be a game that will have a long support cycle and a healthy player base.

More About This Game

Chris Anderson

Assoc. News Editor

I've been playing games since I was just barely able to walk, and I never really stopped playing them. When I'm not fulfilling my duties as assistant news editor and tech reviewer, I'm either working on music, producing one of two podcasts or doing freelance work.