As pranks go, paying a big website to run an advert detailing incorrect dates for a game's open beta and proper launch would be an expensive and silly one. I recognise that not everyone shares my sense of humour, but I was pretty certain that the dates in an ad for Overwatch [official site] were leaked early and not a bundle of japery. But, offering more evidence that my humour judgments are absolute, Blizzard last night confirmed that their multiplayer FPS will enter open beta on May 5 (earlier for pre-orderers) ahead of a May 24th launch. An official announcement also means new official moving pictures to watch.
See, look, here's a Blizzard blog post about Overwatch coming on May 24th and another one about beta dates. Unfortunately, the May 3rd beta date in that leaked advert is for folks who pre-order (or are the one special friend given access by someone who did - pre-orders get a spare code). They call it "early access to the Open Beta" which is... that's not... those words aren't right. They're not the right words. That's not really an open beta, is it.
The pre-order open beta early access will be May 3-4, then the actual open beta will run May 5-9. You won't need to pre-order or know anyone who pre-ordered or anything to play from the 5th, just sign up.
Overwatch, if you've missed all the fuss, is a multiplayer FPS from Warcraft and StarCraft gang Blizzard. It's a class-based shooter, with each character having their own unique weapons and abilities. Here, Pip's played the beta a bit and she's also interviewed designer Geoff Goodman about it.
Here's a new trailer celebrating the release date announcement:
Annnd here's game director Jeff Kaplan gabbing about the beta: