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Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft open beta delayed until next year

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The open beta for Blizzard Entertainment's free-to-play Warcraft card game, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, will be pushed back until next year, according to a Battle.net post by production director Jason Chayes.

Currently in closed beta phase and originally slated to enter open beta this month, the developer wants to wait a "little longer to make sure it's ready for wider testing."

"The development team has been working hard to get this out before the end of the year, but our highest priority is that Hearthstone has an awesome launch when all gates are lifted and everyone can download it and play at the same time," Chayes writes. "We're close to the open beta - very close. And to enter this final part of our beta phase, we need your help."

According to the post, beta invites were sent to those who registered for the Hearthstone closed beta test before Dec. 16. Registrations for the closed beta test will conclude on Jan. 7. Blizzard intends to invite all players into the closed beta who register by that date and before the open beta begins.

Hearthstone recently received a closed beta patch. Patch 1.0.0.4217 introduced changes to the game's Ranked Play system along with features allowing players to identify their most recently-played opponent. Chief creative officer Rob Pardo announced at BlizzCon last month that the collectible trading card game will also see a release on iPhone and Android devices in the second half of next year.