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Overwatch's closed beta will return in February with new game mode, new maps

Blizzard needs a bit more time

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Blizzard's closed beta for its team-based shooter Overwatch will return in mid-February, according to game director Jeff Kaplan. When it does, expect the game's closed beta to include a new game mode and some new maps.

Blizzard originally planned to bring the Overwatch beta back sometime in January, but Kaplan said the team needed a bit more time to polish everything it wanted to give players.

"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," Kaplan said in an update posted to "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."

Blizzard took Overwatch's beta offline in December in order to analyze data and work on a revamped progression and reward system.

Overwatch went into closed beta in October. Blizzard plans to release the game on PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One this spring. The company also plans to release new heroes and maps to Overwatch for free.

You can listen to this story — and more — below in the episode of Minimap, Polygon's daily news podcast, below.