The Overwatch open beta "is what will go live at launch"

The Overwatch open beta is now in full swing, which means there's nothing stopping you from playing it if you want. And if you do, despite it technically being a beta test, Game Director Jeff Kaplan says the version people are playing now, minus some bug fixes, “is what will go live at launch.” 

One thing Overwatch won't have when it launches, as we learned a few days ago, is Competitive Play. It was part of the closed beta, but Blizzard pulled it from the open beta, and the initial release of the game, “because we received a ton of great feedback on how to improve the system.” 

“We had a tough choice. It would have been awesome to have the feature in for Open Beta and Launch. But we felt like we could really improve on some things so we opted to have the feature come out shortly after launch,” Kaplan wrote. “We're hoping that our efforts in the Closed Beta to try to get things done quickly and at high quality aren't lost on our community—but we also never want to sacrifice the quality of the game by putting something live that isn't up to our standards.” 

To be fair, it's getting a bit late in the day to make major changes to the game, although the gap between the end of the open beta on May 9, and the release on May 24, seemed to suggest that relatively significant work could still be done. But Kaplan indicated that Blizzard is now focused on the future, writing, “We're also working on a TON of post-launch features and content. It's going to be a pretty amazing summer... 

Blizzard has also released a third Overwatch comic, this one introducing Junkrat and Roadhog, entitled “Going Legit.” Spoiler alert: They do not. 

Thanks, PCGamesN.

Andy Chalk

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.