9.7 million people and counting participated in Overwatch's open beta, Blizzard Entertainment announced in a press release. That's a new record for the company, it said.
The open beta wrapped on May 10, after Blizzard extended the period by one day. Early access customers were able to start playing on May 3, with the Overwatch beta becoming available to everyone else on May 5.
Blizzard said testers spent more than 81 million hours playing 37 million-plus matches of the upcoming shooter, coming later this month to PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One.
In the lead-up to Overwatch's launch on May 24, Blizzard has built a fanbase by releasing backstory-laden animated shorts, digital comics and several closed beta tests. Fans have already become so invested in the cast of 21 playable characters that, when Blizzard released new artwork of the hero Tracer, some criticized her pose for not "matching her personality." Blizzard responded, later altering Tracer's victory stance.
During the closed beta, players could try out a Competitive Play mode; that wasn't included in Overwatch's open beta, but it will be reintroduced after the game's full release. Blizzard continues to work on tweaking Competitive Play, as well as detailing plans to curb cheating in the multiplayer game.
Check out our platform comparison below to see how Overwatch runs on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.