Overwatch closed beta won't return until February

Overwatch Story Interview 08

Everyone was sad when the Overwatch closed beta took a break in December, but it came with the assurance that it'd return in the not too distant future. While Blizzard indicated that it could return as soon as this month, game director Jeff Kaplan has put that expectation to rest, writing in a new blog post that it won't return until next month – and for good reason.

"While progress has been great and the team has been working super hard to get everything implemented on time, we're not quite ready to bring the Closed Beta back online just yet," Kaplan wrote. "We’ve been pretty open about the fact that we could slip into February from the beginning, but a big reason for this delay is that we really wanted to add one more big feature to the next beta patch."

That big feature is a new game mode, which will join Payload and Point Capture. Kaplan hasn't indicated what the new mode will entail, but the studio opted to delay the beta so it could be included.

"By [delaying the beta], we can make sure we can include the new game mode along with the new maps. This will also allow us to do some additional polish to the game’s progression and reward system. Though all these features will still technically be a work-in-progress during the beta, we’d like them to be at a certain quality bar before releasing them for testing."

Overwatch will launch proper in June, and it won't be a free-to-play game. To keep you busy until next month, here are a bunch of games you should play while you wait.

Shaun Prescott

Shaun Prescott is the Australian editor of PC Gamer. With over ten years experience covering the games industry, his work has appeared on GamesRadar+, TechRadar, The Guardian, PLAY Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, and more. Specific interests include indie games, obscure Metroidvanias, speedrunning, experimental games and FPSs. He thinks Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed is an all-time classic that will receive its due critical reappraisal one day.