Blizzard marks one year of Overwatch with a free weekend and a year-in-review video

May 24 will be the one-year anniversary of the release of Blizzard's hit FPS Overwatch, and to mark the big day the studio is holding a free-play weekend set to run May 26-29. The freebie will feature the full roster of heroes and maps in modes including Quick Play, Custom Games, and the latest Weekly Brawl, and any progress earned during the weekend will be kept if players decide to purchase the game when it's over.

Blizzard also announced the upcoming launch of a loaded-up Overwatch Game of the Year edition, which will release digitally across all platforms on May 23. The Overwatch GOTY will include ten bonus loot boxes filled with random items, and skins from the original Overwatch strike force including Blackwatch Reyes, Strike Commander Morrison, Overgrown Bastion, Security Chief Pharah, and Slipstream Tracer. There will be goodies for other games in the Blizzard oeuvre as well, including a Tracer hero for Heroes of the Storm, a Baby Winston pet for World of Warcraft, Mercy's Wings for Diablo 3, StarCraft 2 in-game portraits, and a Hearthstone card back.  

And finally, Blizzard put together a very nice "Year in Review" video showcasing some of the highlights of the past 12 months. It has been, without a doubt, a very successful year indeed: Concerns about the nascent Overwatch League linger, but 30 million players and $1 billion in a year speaks for itself. 

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.