On May 24, Overwatch will celebrate its one-year anniversary. To mark the occasion, Blizzard Entertainment is starting an Anniversary event and holding a free weekend for the first-person shooter. A new video celebrating Overwatch up to this point is also available highlighting the additions brought to the game over the year.
In fact, the video officially announces the Overwatch Anniversary event with a start date of May 23 and an end date on June 12. The event is announced after an overview of features added to Overwatch since its release. Three new heroes, new maps, and five different events are part of the game now. Before Overwatch turns one-year-old, new heroes Ana, Sombra, and Orisa were added to the roster. The Eichenwalde, Antarctica, and Oasis maps were introduced. Not to mention, five seasonal events took place each offering dozens of new items unique to each different event.
Although details about the Overwatch Anniversary event are limited to the dates right now, another free weekend for the game was announced for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One as part of the festivities. The free weekend will begin on May 26 and end on May 29 according to the official website. All 24 heroes, all 14 maps, and all modes are available during the event. This includes the Arcade, the Custom Games, and the Quick Play modes. Competitive play is not available to free weekend players.
Overwatch Anniversary event content will be available during that time, giving new players a chance to pick up new skins, sprays, emotes, voice lines, and highlight introductions. Each level earned unlocks a loot box in Overwatch letting free and existing players earn Anniversary boxes regularly during the event. Any progress or cosmetic items unlocked during the Anniversary event will carry over if a free player decides to purchase the game as usual. Achievements and trophies are disabled for free players, though.
The free weekend will be available in all regions on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. On PC, players in the Americas and Europe will be able to participate in the free weekend. Also similar to previous free weekends, a Battle.net account will be required on PC, PlayStation Plus will be required on PlayStation 4, and Xbox Live Gold will be required on Xbox One. Players can expect a 12-gigabyte download on PC and a 20-gigabyte download on consoles.
New players will be able to pick up the Overwatch: Game of the Year Edition after it releases on May 23. This edition includes everything the Overwatch: Origins Edition included like the cross-promotion items for other Blizzard Entertainment games. It also includes the unique skins for specific characters in Overwatch like Bastion's Overgrown skin, Pharah's Security Chief skin, Reaper's Blackwatch skin, Solider 76's Strike Commander Morrison skin, and Tracer's Slipsteam skin. Additionally, the new edition includes 10 loot boxes for players to open with random contents.
When the free weekend ends, the latest competitive season will also conclude. May 29 marks the end of the fourth competitive season according to a developer post on the Overwatch official forums. The off-season is expected to be shorter after this season compared to previous seasons even though these periods are often brief. Once the fifth season begins, players will need to play their placement matches and climb the ladder again.
"As a reminder, the time of May 29 0:00 UTC can correspond to different time and date depending on where you live in the world. As an example, that date and time is May 28 5:00pm Pacific Daylight Time or May 28 8:00pm Eastern Daylight Time."
[Featured Image by Blizzard Entertainment]