Blizzard's Overwatch has been breaking records left and right popularity-wise over the last few weeks, and it has actually imposed its presence on the esports scene in a remarkably short period of time too. These days, it looks like everything the Overwatch brand touches turns into gold, but still, there may be areas where Blizzard would like to see their IP perform better.
One such area is apparently the console-bound player-base, where Blizzard are looking to liven things up through an interesting "promotion". During the weekend of September 9-12, players on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 will be able to play Overwatch for free. This bit, which is meant to be a sort of taste-test that will get them hooked on the game, is a really juicy one too, given how the access will indeed be FULL on all accounts: players will get to try all 22 heroes on all 13 of the currently existing maps. To top it all off, players will in fact be able to pick up loot boxes and to level up. While in the case of a one-off deal like this one, such long-term perks wouldn't make much sense, in this instance they do, because if players do decide to pick up the game after the weekend dabble, they will retain all the progress they've made through the promotional period. When we say "all" we mean all the levels and loot-boxes gained, not to mention the XP and the customization items.
The setup is indeed the perfect ploy from Blizzard to get players hooked on its latest IP, as those who find its price too prohibitive have certainly not given it a go yet. Once these players do see what the full Overwatch experience is about though, they'll be much more likely to reconsider.
Those who want to partake in the experience will need a PlayStation 4, preferably with PlayStation Plus - as it will be required to play the full version of the game - or an Xbox One with Xbox Live Gold. Blizzard feature a step-by-step installation guide and play instructions at their site, as well as an exhaustive FAQ.
Philip Thalberg has been providing news about Overwatch for the world's top eSports destination.