The open beta for Blizzard's free-to-play collectible card game HearthStone: Heroes of Warcraft has been delayed to 2014, the developer announced on the game's website. Blizzard originally anticipated that the open beta would be available sometime this month.
"We believe the right thing to do for the game is to not rush it out into open beta, but to instead hold onto it a little longer to make sure it’s ready for wider testing," production director Jason Chayes said. "At BlizzCon, we mentioned that we hoped to get the game into a state where it’s ready for open beta this month, but we’re just not quite there yet."
"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," he added.
Blizzard also announced that new beta invitations for the ongoing HearthStone closed beta have been delivered this week to everyone who opted in prior to Monday, December 16. If you opted in, you're urged to check your email, including your spam folder or different email tabs.
Opt-ins for the closed beta test will end of January 7, Blizzard said. At that point, everyone who opted in by that date will be granted access to the closed beta. You can opt-in to the HearthStone beta test using your Battle.net account.
Chayes stressed that the closed beta version of HearthStone is very much a work-in-progress and you may notice various bugs and issues. He urged players to try out the new decks, report bugs, and give feedback through Blizzard's forums.
"Thanks for your patience and enthusiasm," Chayes said. "Hearthstone would not be as far along as it is without your helpful feedback. Please continue to let us know what you like and what you think needs a little more work."