Blizzard has announced it is taking the Overwatch beta offline until sometime in January 2016.
The company announced today that the popular beta will be taking an “extended break” until January 2016.
Blizzard plans to use the downtime to make improvements to the player progression system and the ability to spectate in-game.
“This phase of development has been key, but now it’s time to analyze the data we have, dig into your feedback even further, and put that knowledge to use as best we can,” Blizzard explained in a blog post.
“During this downtime, we’re looking forward to making more improvements to the game, as well as continuing to work on in-development features like spectating and progression.”
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Since going online in late October, over 900,000 games of Overwatch have been played by those participating in the beta.
The extended testing period has given Blizzard plenty of “raw data” which it plans to use to improve and balance the game before its retail release.
Blizzard has provided no specific date for the beta’s return, but we should expect it to return in “mid-to-late January.”
All those who currently have access to beta already will be able to play once it returns, and Blizzard has plans to add a select number of players when the new test begins.
In addition, Overwatch will not be available as a free-to-play title like many of us previously thought.
No beta tests have been announced for PS4 or Xbox One, but we should expect them to crop up at some point in the future.
Unfortunately, cross-platform play will not be supported due to the advantage some PC players may have.
Overwatch is scheduled to launch in the first half of 2016 for PS4, Xbox One and PC.