Fergusson - "You can't do technical Betas anymore"

Rod Fergusson has lamented the decline of the true beta process, telling us that you simply can't do technical betas anymore.

Speaking to Strategy Informer at a special Gears of War 3 multiplayer event, Fergusson pinned this new state of affairs on a more ignorant (my words, not his) console audience.

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Are_The_MaDNess2683d ago

can't agree more,
people nowadays think a beta is some kind of demo

thereapersson2683d ago

The concept of a "beta" is lost on nearly everyone these days. Every time I try to point out the difference, and the POINT of a beta, my statements are always met with disagreement and anger.


GrieverSoul2683d ago

I think the problem comes from the developers too.
They release the "demos" of unfinished games and since they know they might contain errors and glitches, they call them a beta. If a player finds bugs and glitches, they just excuse themselves by saying: "We told you it was a beta!". The term Demo comes from demonstration and if it plays like crap people assume the game will too. So they stamp "BETA" to show its a work in progress.

The perception of demo is also changing because a few years back, demos were a 15/20 minutes polished games. Nowadays its a rushed multiplayer level.

humbleopinion2683d ago

The problem does not come from the developers. Only from idiots who don't understand the concept of beat, and don't realize that when developer calls something BETA it means that it's a tool to provide feedback, and NOT A DEMO.

A PUBLICLY RELEASED DEMO IS ALWAYS FROM A FINISHED GAME, and when you write something like "They release the "demos" of unfinished games" it simply means that it's you who don't understand the difference.

distorted_reality2683d ago

@ humbleopinion -

You obviously didn't catch the AvP PC demo recently. Was marketed as a demo by the devs and publishers - when in actual fact it was 6 month old beta code.

As I said, it isn't just ignorant gamers who have put us into this state of affairs....

pixelsword2683d ago (Edited 2683d ago )

BOTH sides are to blame. If you put a beta in with a game release, should you expect random participants to understand; even if children are recipients? If you include beta tests as a part of a subscription package (like Sony does) should you expect vigilance from people who see the beta as their right and not their privilege? What do they owe anyone if they PAID for their participation?

How about betas that ignore what people complain about, even when most of the testers agree? (MAG beta/S.V.E.R. being over-powered, for example). How about when devs make it difficult to give feedback?

Nuh-uh... get it right before placing blame on the instrument for the overall poor performance; and that's everyone, Sony, Microsoft, and devs who use beta testers.

Baka-akaB2683d ago (Edited 2683d ago )


You are kidding yourself . Devs , or maybe rather their publishers , decided to no longer use betas as betas anymore , but (sometimes exclusive) demos .

They decided to use it as a marketing tool , and even sells it within games , and now that gamers expect with the line of thought they themselves insiminated , it's their fault and they are stupid ?

Both sides are to blame .

Blad3star2683d ago

110% agree but some blame should also be but on gaming sites that are hungry for hits and N4G for letting these stories get approved and reach the top of the front page.

Gaming sites are becoming like those gossip mags that dont sell unless the have some over the top headline and some flame bait story.

MaxXAttaxX2682d ago

Not true.

A demo is NOT ALWAYS from a finished game.

For example, the God of War 3 demo that was publicly released on PSN was a year old(from previous E3 demo)

Demo is not always representative of the final product.

+ Show (5) more repliesLast reply 2682d ago
koehler832683d ago (Edited 2683d ago )

I for one never judge a product based on the beta. I also rarely join betas for products I'm really looking forward to.

I sign up for betas that interest me but that I remain mostly objective toward. It's a great way to try out new MMOs without committing to them. It's also where I get most of my shooter kicks, since it's usually smaller groups and little focus on progression. And you can just enjoy breaking the game without worry of repercussion.

morganfell2683d ago (Edited 2683d ago )

First of all the submitter of this article has violated the guidelines by altering the original title of the article. He has taken it from commentary to flamebait.

"Do not create your own headlines unless the original headline doesn’t make any sense when posted on another site."

The proper title is:

Fergusson - "You can't do technical Betas anymore"

Adding in the remarks by the Strategy Informer author as if they were part of the original title is inexcusable.

That said, companies are to blame because they themselves use betas as a marketing campaign to engender sales. One company broke the line and instead of releasing a beta that was an actual beta they started the marketing frenzy. Fergusson seems to blame the gamer themselves when actually it is the publisher.

Companies also fail to properly select people so that the beta is of some use. Anyone willing to pre-order, or pay for this or that, can get into a beta.

"Buy Bulletstorm, get into the Gears 3 Beta"

"Buy Killzone 3, get into the SOCOM 4 beta."

Sound familiar?

Finally, as Fergusson stated, they offer the 'beta' in a near final state of completion (marketing again - can't send a bad signal to the public about the state of the game) where actual feedback from players is of limited use due to the fact so many features are irrevocably locked.

I have witnessed numerous players upset over some feature or mechanic and the devs would not institute a change due to either stubbornness or the feature was a lynch pin of the game and too late to alter. Remember, the state of the beta is not something the devs choose but rather is decided by the money man...the publisher, and/or the hardware manufacturer.

For a company that released the Gears 2 multiplayer in such a horrid state of disarray with it's numerous glitches that took months to address after retail launch, Fergusson has some gall to point the finger at the people that pay his salary.

pixelsword2683d ago

Heh... I just saw yours after writing mine; If I wasn't responding to someone I might have read yours first and not wasted my time with mine.

distorted_reality2683d ago

Yeah I don't think ignorant gamers are totally to blame with this one.....

2683d ago
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