Over 9.7 million players participated in the recent Overwatch open beta, showing how fans can’t get enough of Activision Blizzard’s multiplayer shooter, which launches for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC later today. The game officially goes live in a few hours, and the publisher is pulling out all the stops for its heavy promotional campaign.
In addition to a lavish advertising program, the publisher released a new “Hero” short over the weekend, which has already gotten nearly two million views and a hearty amount of support from the community. The entire series of shorts, with their movie-like quality, are proving to be big hits.
Blizzard teamed up with Coca-Cola to bring Overwatch to the big screen last night at various locations, showing all the shorts as one continuous movie to promote the game. Fans also picked up collectible items, including cups featuring characters like Tracer and Widowmaker, at these showings. In addition, a panel featuring various developers and animators behind the project was also featured.
But perhaps the most curious promotion was the debut of larger-than-life boxed figurines, which began appearing across the globe over the weekend. Fans in Hollywood, Paris and Busan saw various characters in packaging, and get pictures of them to share across social media.
— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) May 20, 2016
— Andrien Gbinigie (@EscoBlades) May 21, 2016
Overwatch is getting a tremendous amount of hype on social media, with thousands of fans eager to hop into multiplayer match-ups when the servers go live later today. In anticipation of the event, Blizzard has already released the game, so players can download and install the game now and be ready the moment the servers are switch on later today.
Even with stiff competition from Bethesda’s Doom reboot and Sony’s Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (which managed to sell 2.7 million copies in its first week) Overwatch should have no trouble becoming a huge success.