Blizzard Entertainment’s mastery over the twin arts, Hype and Exclusivity, is now back in full force following an announcement that the Overwatch Closed Beta returns in February 2016.
In a recent forum update, Game Director Jeff Kaplan wrote that they shut down the Closed Beta servers in December 2015 so as to “address player feedback, work on some core features (like progression!), and adjust the balance of the game.” Initial plans pegged a mid- to late-January time-frame for the Closed Beta to come back online, but it now seems that the dream will have to wait just a touch longer.
Kaplan explains that having new game modes was one of the player base’s most common request, and so his team set out to deliver exactly that. And just like the huge tease that they are, they’ve chosen not to say what exactly this third mode is – not even a name.
On the bright side, he has confirmed that the Closed Beta will return with new maps and a freshly implemented progression and rewards system. It’s all technically still in beta but anyone who’s been keeping a close eye on streams and gameplay videos will see that there’s plenty to enjoy already.
To recap, Overwatch is a hero-based first-person-shooter in development for Windows PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Despite it being Blizzard’s maiden FPS fling, they’ve apparently done a good job blending it with a vast and unique hero roster typically found in MOBAs, swapping out the fantastical for a near-future setting with characters from across the globe.
A loose comparison would be Valve’s Team Fortress 2, minus all the hats.
Unfortunately, the Overwatch Closed Beta is currently restricted to selected individuals in North America. Once it does make its way over to Asia just remember that Blizzard no longer dabbles with CD keys, so keep an eye out for any shady sources out to prey on the desperate.