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Blood Bowl 3's closed beta touches down early next year

Blood Bowl 3 orc
(Image credit: Nacon)
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Update: You can't get access to Blood Bowl 3's beta by preordering it on Steam, as we previously stated, but you can get into the beta by preordering the upcoming edition of the tabletop game (opens in new tab)

Original story: It's been a long off-season for fans of bloody, high-fantasy American football. But there's not too much longer to wait before the games kick off once more, as Blood Bowl 3 prepares to enter closed beta early next year.

Announced back in 2019, the third season of Warhammer's fantasy football spinoff aims to overhaul its ruleset to match the new edition of the boxed tabletop game. Unfortunately, it missed the whistle on that one, unceremoniously punting its release into 2021.

At the very least, Blood Bowl 3 is adding four new teams introduced in this year's edition of the board game—Black Orcs, Imperial Nobility, Chaos Renegades and the Old World Alliance. Special Play Cards will also let you buff your players or backstab opponents before the start of the game, while a new campaign mode will see star players invite your team round for a kickabout.

What's less certain is whether the new ruleset will kill the previous game's biggest problem, one I share with James Davenport's Blood Bown 2 review: that resolving every single action down to a dice roll, no matter how small, results in a game that can often feel a frustrating nightmare. 

While there's still no firm release date, Cyanide today announced that there'll be a closed beta early next year. A pre-season, if you will. For now, access will be granted to folks who preorder Blood Bowl 3 on Steam, though the devs are planning to reveal other ways to enter the beta as we approach its release.

Natalie Clayton
Natalie Clayton

20 years ago, Nat played Jet Set Radio Future for the first time, and she's not stopped thinking about games since. Joining PC Gamer in 2020, she comes from three years of freelance reporting at Rock Paper Shotgun, Waypoint, VG247 and more. Embedded in the European indie scene and a part-time game developer herself, Nat is always looking for a new curiosity to scream about—whether it's the next best indie darling, or simply someone modding a Scotmid into Black Mesa. She also unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.