The Overwatch closed beta that's currently underway will be brought to an end next week. Blizzard said the beta will relaunch sometime in January, but now it's time to start sorting through all the data that's been collected over the past month-and-a-half.
"Since the start of the Overwatch beta in late October, aspiring heroes from around the world have battled it out in more than 900,000 matches. In this same period of time, we've also gathered invaluable information about our servers, core systems like matchmaking, and overall map and hero balance—thanks not only to the raw data we've collected from the game, but also to the numerous bug reports, suggestions, critiques, and experiences you’ve shared," Blizzard said in the announcement. "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."
The beta will be shut down at 9 am PST on December 10, one week from today, but the beta forums will stay open until December 18. No new players will be added between now and the shutdown, but all those who are in the current beta will be readmitted once it restarts. Blizzard also plans to add more players after it relaunches, although specifics about how many and when they'll be allowed behind the velvet rope have yet to be nailed down.
We had a nice chat about Overwatch with Game Director Jeff Kaplan and Creative Director Chris Metzen early last month at BlizzCon, during which we talked about the beta test, future content, and why Blizzard opted to go with the rather surprising not-free-to-play payment model.