IncGamers Column - When Betas Go Commercial

IncGamers' Tim McDonald explains why he finds the path some public betas tread distasteful.

From the article: "I don't have a problem with the companies that genuinely need public feedback, or that genuinely use beta information. MMO betas, for instance, are pretty understandable; it's content designed for thousands of players at the same time and a lot of work needs to go into it to make sure that things are balanced, fun, and well-paced - and that they can actually support high player loads. Likewise, a few companies are doing reasonably clever things. The current Elemental beta, I'm told, pretty much strips out the graphics entirely. The idea there seems to be that users won't be distracted be graphics, be they incredibly pretty or incredibly unfinished, and that they'll focus entirely on the things that matter, like whether or not the game is actually, y'know, fun. Important, that."

Read Full Story >>
The story is too old to be commented.
Leord3206d ago

StarCraft II for one is a beta they are waiting to release to be some sort of commercial enticement rather than a beta.

Dorjan3206d ago

I can totally see that happening

DEA Fresh3206d ago

Honestly the more people they let into a beta and the bigger they try to make it the better. There is just so many gamers that are going to be playing the end product the developers will never be able to test all the stuff they're going to do. MW2 is the perfect example of this. The online is a mess and the only people to blame is IW.

If they use it as a marketing tool that's w/e. Obviously people want early access to the game and some people and devs are against this for w/e reason but once the game releases you have such a higher quality product.

JokesOnYou3206d ago (Edited 3206d ago )

He never made a case WHY a beta is a BAD thing, either for gamers or developers.

A marketing ploy to drive pre-orders?

-So you're saying the beta alone was good enough for those same people who had to pay early to get a pre-order; still keep they pre-order and still buy the final game...or the Beta sucks, and since it was just a marketing tool no significant changes are made to improve the game and it flops,....uhm how is this a Bad thing?

Beta= just a marketing tool to sell a game

Beta= actually helps devs improve game based on feedback

Beta= both of the above

Analysis= Gamers & (talented)Developers win



Some games won't go public beta regardless of money, because it would only show the fails earlier, putting months of hype, bullshots, paid previews and what not in serious risk.

Halo 3 anyone? People stopped cheering about it's graphics as soon as they broutgh the beta.

Halo passsed unharmed, but not every game has a mindless following.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 3205d ago
Maticus3206d ago

Yeah betas in MMOs are crucial. It's nice to get a headstart on the game as well though :)

AndyA3206d ago

Betas are becoming a battleground in the exclusivity wars too - look at Bad Company 2.

D4RkNIKON3206d ago

Haha, not sure about you but that one worked in my favor ;)

MajestieBeast3206d ago

Yeah allthough i didnt enjoy the game that much not my style i guess.

18 december Modnation racers Beta now that is 1 i cant wait for.

edgeofblade3206d ago

Commercial betas do nothing to help the game, bug-wise.

People talk about how MW2 should have had a beta. Oh it did... an internal beta with a handful of people. Not the unwashed masses. And at the same time, who's to say that the people who find the best hacks are going to share and get them patched? Isn't it to their advantage to find a glitch and be the only one who knows how to exploit it?


Cheater maybe won't share, but real players getting the short end of the stick? Hell yeah.