Last month, Blizzard promised that the Hearthstone beta would begin in December. Considering we have just over a week left in December, and that Blizzard is unlikely to make its employees work over the holiday with only one piece of coal for the fire, it only makes sense that that goal is being pushed back. The company recently confirmed it.
"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," the company said in a blog update yesterday. "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."
The team says they're "very close" to an open beta, and encourages those already in the beta to keep trying it and reporting feedback as much a they can. To widen that net as much as possible, it has now invited everyone who opted in before December 16. If you've tried to sign up any time before this week, you should be in now. You can still sign up, though, and on January 7 Blizzard will close the opt-ins for the beta entirely and invite everyone who's signed up. That will be the final stage, it seems, before the open beta.