Blizzard Entertainment’s semiannual video game convention, BlizzCon, wrapped up on Saturday at the Anaheim Convention Center in California. Along with a number of new announcements, the game studio confirmed its first all-new franchise in 17 years. “Overwatch,” a team-based multiplayer shooter, will focus on cooperative gameplay using a cast of heroes with unique abilities and roles.

Blizzard will open its beta phase sometime in early 2015. The game has only been announced for Windows PCs and Macs, and no console releases have been discussed.

"Our goal with ‘Overwatch’ is to create an awesome FPS experience that's more accessible to a much wider audience while delivering the action and depth that shooter fans love," Mike Morhaime, CEO and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment, said in a statement. “‘Overwatch’ is our take on a vibrant, near-future universe with amped-up characters and action-packed team-based gameplay.”

Irvine, California-based Blizzard discussed four of the game’s characters. “Overwatch” will include Tracer, a former British test pilot; Reinhardt, a large German soldier in battle armor; Hanzo, a Japanese mercenary; and Symmetra, an Indian architect who can control light and energy to create shields and damage enemies. More details regarding the game’s features can be found here.

over2 'Overwatch' was confirmed this weekend by Blizzard during BlizzCon. Photo: Courtesy/Blizzard

Players can join teams of six and battle others across a number of futuristic global locations. Blizzard even allowed some of BlizzCon’s 25,000 attendees to play “Overwatch” on 600 different PCs during the convention.

You can sign up for the beta here. No release date has been set for the beta, but Blizzard confirms it will be playable during early 2015.