The Overwatch beta will return with a new mode and more maps

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Expected to reappear in mid-February

Blizzard took its closed beta for Overwatch offline in December to pore over player feedback, tighten the balance, and continue working on new features. It will return a little later than some were expecting — January is now out of the question — but the beta should be back by mid-February, according to game director Jeff Kaplan. “We don’t intend to slip out of February.”

More importantly, when the closed beta resumes, there will be a new mode and additional maps.

“Rather than try to rush a beta patch out this month (which would mean the new game mode would have to be put off), we’re going to take a few extra weeks before bringing the closed beta back,” said Kaplan. “By doing so, 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.”

Once a more specific time frame is announced, we’ll post about it. To that end, Blizzard says it’s going to “do [its] best to provide at least one week’s notice.”

Closed Beta Update – January 21, 2016 [Battle.net]