Game Director Jeff Kaplan says that the tentatively planned resumption date of mid-to-late January isn’t happening because the team isn’t ready and wants to add “one more big feature to the next beta patch”:
“After looking through all of the feedback from last year, one of the things we noticed players consistently mentioning was their desire for more game modes in Overwatch, in addition to Point Capture and Payload. Without getting into specifics, we are working on a new game mode. And we’re very excited about it! And we have some great new maps to support it, too, but we need a little more time to get everything just right.”
“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. 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. “
Kaplan won’t give a hard date but says the team is shooting for mid-February. “[A]nd we don’t intend to slip out of February,” he vows.