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The Overwatch closed beta is shutting next week

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In a bit of inevitable-but-still-sad news for those of you enjoying the Overwatch beta, Blizzard has announced that it will come to an end on April 25, so that “final preparations” can begin for the launch next month.

“Our sincerest thanks to all of our Closed Beta testers and everyone in the Overwatch community for participating in this critical part of the game’s development process,” Blizzard wrote. “Over the past several months, you've shared tons of amazing feedback—and we've collected payloads of useful data—to help us balance, tweak, and fine-tune our heroes, maps, core game systems, and more.”

Game Director Jeff Kaplan said in today's developer update video that Blizzard will now shift into a slower schedule of updates with fewer radical changes, focusing instead on stability, bug fixes, and infrastructure. Barring unforeseen disaster, the studio will be able get back to more interesting updates, with things like new competitive modes and spectator options, shortly after launch.

The closed beta will come to an end in all regions at around 10 am PT, and no further players will be added to the beta between now and then. But don't feel too badly if you didn't get in: An open beta is set to run from May 5-9, with a two-day head start for people who have preordered kicking off on May 3. Overwatch comes out on May 24.

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.