Today’s beta tests are not like the testing phases of the not so distant past. With Early Access and pre-order bonus betas, beta testers are just as likely — if not more — to be paying customers instead of volunteer testers. There are still more traditional betas, like StarCraft 2’s invite-only closed beta for Legacy of the Void, but expectations have changed, and maybe motivations have, too.
That’s what this week’s Topic of the Week is about. We want to know why you play betas. Is it just for the chance to play early, or do you want to test the game and help the developer hunt for bugs and improve features?
I’ll get the ball rolling.
If I’m playing a beta version of a game, it’s probably work-related. So in those instances, I’m not a tester or necessarily a customer. Outside of work, I rarely jump into a pre-release version of a game. There are enough finished games out there so that I don’t have a strong desire to play an unfinished one if it’s just for pleasure.
On the rare occasions where I’ll dive into a beta that I’m not writing about, it’s usually one where I’ll be playing with chums who also have access. I go where the party is. I probably spent more time playing Minecraft before launch than I did after, and I used to play Starbound night after night, even after I finished my Early Access review. What sets them apart is not just that I had friends to enjoy them with, it’s that they both had an abundance of content, to the point where they might as well have been finished games.
That’s enough from me. What about you lovely lot. Why do you play betas?