Overwatch 2 will be available to play far sooner than expected.

Activision Blizzard announced Sunday that the hero shooter is launching on October 4 this year, an “early access” release for the PvP component of the game.

And in a big departure from its predecessor, Overwatch 2 will be free-to-play on Windows, Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo Switch. This removes all barriers to entry for the game, potentially paving the way for new players to get on board with the title.

The first PvP beta in May offered an early glimpse of the game and new hero Sojourn, with Activision Blizzard continuing to make tweaks throughout the duration of the beta. With the game now described as an “always-on, always-evolving live service,” Activision Blizzard has possibly left the door open for more significant changes further down the road.

Overwatch 2: Release date and how to get Founder’s pack

Activision Blizzard also confirmed Overwatch’s 34th hero, Junker Queen, who will be available to play when the game launches in October. Junker Queen is an axe-wielding Tank hero, and the release date trailer shows her spinning it in a manner similar to Orisa’s javelin as she moves forward.

Additional details on Junker Queen’s kit, Overwatch’s live service model, seasonal content plan, and upcoming closed beta testing are planned for a more in-depth reveal on June 17 at 1:00 a.m. GMT+8 | June 16, 10:00 a.m. PDT on the PlayOverwatch Youtube and Twitch channels.

To thank existing players, Activision Blizzard also announced the Founder’s Pack, which will be free for all players who already own Overwatch. The Founder’s Pack includes two epic skins and an exclusive founder’s icon, along with a surprise gift that will be announced before the game’s October 4 release.

All players who own Overwatch prior to June 24, 2:00 a.m. GMT+8 | June 23, 11:00 a.m. PDT will be eligible to receive the pack, so you can still purchase the game if you haven’t already.

To redeem the pack, you’ll need to log into the game by December 6, 2:59 p.m. GMT+8 | December 5, 11:59 p.m. PDT. This includes logging into Overwatch before October 4, or logging into Overwatch 2 after launch.

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