EA studio Digital Illusions CE has announced that the beta for Battlefield Heroes has been closed down in order to allow the team to focus on "polishing the backend" - and yes, there will be jokes about polishing the backend.
Senior Producer James Salt said that the beta has been a "tremendous help" in balancing gameplay and eliminating bugs, but the studio now wants to concentrate its efforts on the unseen parts of the game. "You know the old saying about icebergs being 10% above water, and 90% below? Heroes is a little like that. There's the 10% game part you can see, and the hiding 90% is what we call the 'backend'," he wrote in a message on the Battlefield Heroes website. "The backend does a lot of things. From running the website's features and looking after the items you have, to collecting the results from each Heroes game and matchmaking players into games."
"We have received lots of great feedback from our beta testers," he continued. "So much so that we are now ready to enter our next phase. On Friday evening (6pm CET, noon EST) we will be closing down the current Closed Beta and moving our focus to polishing the backend." Salt added that he expects the beta to re-open early next year, so obviously EA's plans to have the game out in time for Christmas 2008 have gone out the window. Battlefield Heroes is now targeted for release in the first quarter of 2009.