Healthy competition is good for any product. After all, the threat of a similar product stealing away consumers often motivates teams to perfect their item in hopes of overtaking their rivals. This is true in video games, as it is for any other consumer product. This spring, players will have a plethora of shooters from which to choose. Specifically, match-based and multiplayer online battle arena-inspired titles will be available in pronounced supply over the next coming months.
Gearbox Software's upcoming first-person shooter Battleborn is the first to release this spring with a firm release date of May 3. However, Overwatch developers Blizzard Entertainment announced today that their first person competitive shooter will enter open beta on May 3, the same day.
Overwatch and Battleborn have some similar features. Both games are first-person shooters, both are highly stylized visually, both include account progression, both offer up loot to reward the player, and so on. The early access open beta date for Overwatch occurring on the same day as the hard launch for Battleborn seems to be an aggressive move on Blizzard's part. Of course, many games slated for a spring release will often launch close to each other, but it is clear that the Battleborn team cannot ignore Overwatch's open beta.
Battleborn developers and community members reacted somewhat playfully to the Overwatch open beta announcement. The official Twitter account for Battleborn now includes a short gif of one of the playable heroes with the caption, "Come at me bro," directed to the official Overwatch account. The team also points out that spring is quickly filling with "hero-shooters," including their own game, plus Overwatch, Paragon, and Gigantic. Even the president of Gearbox Software, Randy Pitchford, chimed in on his personal Twitter account to comment on the competition between Battleborn and Overwatch.
Although Overwatch will not officially launch until May 24, purchasers of the game will have early access to the open beta period on May 3. Open beta will be free and open to all players on May 5. The Overwatch open beta ends on May 9, according to Battle.net. Players interested in Overwatch should know that while the open beta will take place early in the month, progress made during the beta will not carry over to the full launch of the game. During the open beta, though, players will be able to try 21 heroes and experience all maps that will be available at launch.
[Image via Gearbox Software]