Beta and Demo: What's the Difference?

EA and DICE call their demo for Battlefield 3 a beta. What's the difference between a beta and a demo?

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Wizziokid2438d ago (Edited 2438d ago )

"Beta and Demo: What's the Difference?"

a beta is testing the game for bugs and other issues

a demo is promotional

/end pointless article

iamnsuperman2438d ago

I would argue against that. More and more times are "Betas" being used to advertise the game with them coming weeks before release. The term Beta hasn't changed but the abuse of the word has. Betas are becoming more like demos than actual betas

xPhearR3dx2438d ago

Agreed, but you can't really argue with what Wizziokid said. He speaks facts, yet the industry twist them and turns "betas" into more of a demo like you stated.

iamnsuperman2438d ago (Edited 2438d ago )

@xPhearR3dx that is true but the meaning of words change over time.

and I think we are seeing this transition because of the industry

JellyJelly2438d ago

Are you saying DICE can't test their server functionality with the beta in order to have it running smooth for launch? Is it not a beta if you use it in that context?

DBergmark2438d ago

@JellyJelly I'm not saying that at all. I was explaining how I believe the actual beta process is usually at the beginning of the game creation process instead of after a game has been submitted to consoles for certification. In the context that they are working to improve the title by strees testing the servers, I guess you could consider that but a beta is so much more than a stress test.

Raf1k12438d ago (Edited 2438d ago )

I agree with Wizziokid but demo is short for demonstration.

Originally demos were used to promote a game giving people the chance to see what it's like before buying. These days more devs are using the betas as a way to demo the game as well which is why some games will have a beta client and not a demo.

If players are going to treat betas as demos (which quite a few do) then I see nothing wrong in having the beta be the demo too.

edit: The only problem I have with betas being used to also demo a game is that not everyone gets to play the beta. I think everyone should be able to try a game before making a decision to buy it so it would be good to at least have the beta client updated with the fixes made for the final build as a freely available demo either before or on release of the full game.

Deputydon2438d ago

They could just take the Guerrilla Games route and just call pretty much everything they release 'Pre-Alpha'.

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 2438d ago
DBergmark2438d ago

The reason why I bring it up is because so many companies use the term beta in the wrong context. I also was interested in seeing what people thought.

JoGam2438d ago

Like Wizzio said, Beta is a test. Demo is promotional. With that said if companies releases a Demo but say we want to test the game out for bugs, they are using the incorrect term. Demo is short for Demonstration. For example if you came over my house and played 5mins of KZ3 for the first time you just Demoed the game. A Beta is to test software, servers, etc.

MrSent2438d ago (Edited 2438d ago )

Dice has stated they have the ability to change and tweak the engine up until launch. The Beta will absolutely serve as a back-end test and a client side test. they are listening, and have been listening to customer feedback since the Alpha. Maybe some companies get the definition of a 'Beta' wrong, but not DICE.

I think it's the community, fans and gamers that are more often confused with the term.

A 'Beta' is a work in progress, a 'Demo' is a snapshot of the finished product. The good thing about DICE is that their Beta has already had gameplay tweaks, bug fixes, and driver updates, and System Requirements

Solidus187-SCMilk2438d ago

yeah, demos/betas always have a message saying "its not a finished product" but demos are almost always pretty much the same as the final product, unless its a demo way before a game is out(gow 3 demo was from year before it came out).

koehler832438d ago

Problems in a beta are forgivable. Problems in demos are not.

GamerSciz2438d ago

Beta is an unfinished game...demo is a shortened version (snippet) of the finished game. At least that's the way they "were" defined. But as others stated earlier, nowadays betas are being used as advertisements and promotions. However the latter still stands that the definition hasn't changed just yet.

Check out the wiki...

Nitrowolf22438d ago (Edited 2438d ago )

"Beta is an unfinished game...demo is a shortened version (snippet) of the finished game."

Demo can be of unfinished games to or early builds. God of war 3, Resistance 3, GT5 all had early Demo Build before they were even completed and there are loads of other ones.

But yeah Beta are used as promotion now a days.

Also a Beta doesn't always mean it's an unfinished product. Well I mean yes it is, but it's possible for betas to have final build codes. Depends what Unfinished means really cause both can be unfinished

BF3 Beta is pretty much a demo/beta. Dice can analysis and test their servers and such before release, but since it's so close to release it's pretty much a demo.

GamerSciz2438d ago (Edited 2438d ago )

Disagree all you want. According to the Wiki as well a game demo is just a piece of the full version game in order to promote/persuade people to buy the full game. Whether or not Devs call an early build a demo or not, it is technically a beta if it is not the final code especially.

cpayne932438d ago

Can't always trust wikipedia anyway.

TopDudeMan2438d ago

Yeah, by the time the demo comes out it's too late to fix anything, but a lot of people treat them as though they are the same which you can't really blame them for doing because to them it's a chance to see how the game plays and judge whether or not they're going to purchase it.

RegorL2438d ago

"too late to fix anything"
Yes, it would be late to fix their single player.
But that is not what they are testing in this Beta...
They are testing multiplayer, multiplayer requires network access, network access => you may download patches.

DanSolo2438d ago

Basically these days they see an open beta as a bit of both....

It's a Beta as they use it to identify and fix problems and test the servers.... but it is also quite obviously used as a demo as well to promote their game.... it makes sense to be honest.

It will still be called a Beta as it is being used as that.... whereas the term Demo is used when it is purely promotional.

ddurand12438d ago

The line between beta and demo has certainly been blurred in the past couple yrs. That was the point.

peeps2438d ago

Beta's are certainly used as demo's, that much is clear. especially when access to a beta is 'given away' to people who pre order, buy certain games etc etc.

And agree around the point that by calling this a beta still, any bugs found can be put down to 'it's just a beta' despite the fact that the games only a month away.

It's just what this gen is all about, I can't think of a single game that hasn't been patched after release. It's obviously good that games can be updated, but last gen I don't remember having any real problems

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