: Are Betas Starting To Lose Their Appeal?

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Are Betas Starting To Lose Their Appeal?

As far as the regular, everyday gamer is concerned, beta tests are a relatively new phenomenon.

It wasn't until the start of the previous generation when beta tests on consoles began to become available and even then, they could be difficult to get into. These days, it seems like every new game with a distinct multiplayer component boasts a beta test and you know...the novelty is wearing off for me.

Oh, I still remember my first beta. It was Warhawk for the PS3. Now, I'm no flight fan and I was still wicked excited because really, who had ever heard of playing a game before it's released? Unless you're a developer, that doesn't really happen, right? And yet, there I was, playing a game that isn't available for consumer purchase, and I honestly felt privileged. I was just so enthusiastic and I hate flight games. Of course, this particular instance, I ended up adoring the flight mechanic in Warhawk but that's not the point.

The point is that with another beta coming up - Destiny will be available to play on the PS4 and PS3 on July 17 - I'm not anywhere near as excited anymore. I've already checked out the alpha, for crying out loud; a beta's totally commonplace nowadays. Have I become spoiled? Probably. I think we all have. I'm certain gamers view betas a lot differently than they used to: Six or seven years ago, getting into a beta would make most core gamers leap for joy. Getting into one now...hell, it happens all the time. It's almost expected.

Am I the only one who feels this way?

7/11/2014 Ben Dutka

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Comments (16 posts)

WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, July 11, 2014 @ 10:53:24 PM
Reply

I've gotten into betas that I didn't even bother to participate in. Though Destiny is a little more exciting since it's primed to be the next big thing.

I think the problem, if there is one, is that betas have gone mainstream. Now they are used as bait to get you to buy things. Kind of devalues the whole thing and keeps Plus users from getting any.

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Knightzane
Friday, July 11, 2014 @ 10:56:37 PM
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I appreciate Beta's and Demo's because they were the "new" thing that the previous generation introduced to me. Final Fantasy never included demo's in their games so I never played anything outside of my safe zone. Thanks to the ps3 I got to try out a whole new batch of games. Not a lot of them stuck but that's alright.

Beta's are a different story though. Its like trying out the game fully before it comes out, while dealing with bugs and all of that nonsense. However, its nice to see other games coming into their own. You see the early footage and then play the current build and then finally play the finished product. Its like going through a metamorphosis. But you make a good point Ben.

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pavlovic
Friday, July 11, 2014 @ 11:38:03 PM
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My first beta was Socom II in the PS2 era. I received a DVD, a NDA and 3 sheet manual, since I was into Socom MP I loved it, I participated every day and send bug reports to the developers all the bugs I found.

That was the way it was supposed to be.

Nowadays betas, in my eyes are glorified demos.

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Temjin001
Friday, July 11, 2014 @ 11:56:55 PM
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Destiny's beta is the first beta I've ever been excited for. That I can recall anyway.

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Temjin001
Saturday, July 12, 2014 @ 12:07:43 PM

wait. nope. I was mildly excited for Ace Combat F2P beta, exclusively for the PlayStation 3 System.

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shaytoon
Saturday, July 12, 2014 @ 1:13:11 AM
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i feel like no one (developers) cares about beta's. they make users feel privileged in making it seem special bc its as if theyre just giving people a small demo of whats to come to keep their appetites wet.

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bigrailer19
Saturday, July 12, 2014 @ 2:01:22 AM
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I think it's good betas are going more "mainstream". If you can reach a broader audience who will have feedback - provided they give it - that's what you want as a developer. To mee there is no reason to let only a select few Consumer get in. That's what Q and A testing is for.

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Beamboom
Saturday, July 12, 2014 @ 3:38:10 AM
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It's just history repeating itself. Betas and demos has been a part of PC gaming for decades so initially this whole excitement over betas came as a surprise to me when I first entered the console world.

And when people use betas as an argument to pay a monthly fee (yeah the Plus membership), in my head I went "dafuq?".

It does feel a bit exclusive at first, but after one has got enough game experiences spoiled by the early test runs of unfinished code beta testing starts to lose the appeal.
I might still join a beta now and then, but only for titles I am particularly interested in.

Last edited by Beamboom on 7/12/2014 3:39:19 AM

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Underdog15
Saturday, July 12, 2014 @ 10:50:49 AM

It also didn't help that were like.... no betas. lol

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, July 12, 2014 @ 1:43:05 PM

yeah console gaming is following the wake of PC gaming in many ways, I still think they are quite different experiences for the most part but stuff like that makes us console folks look ridiculous to PC folks.

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Jed
Saturday, July 12, 2014 @ 4:34:32 PM
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I think my first beta was Resistance 2, but I'm not totally sure. I was in disbelief when I got that email. It felt so special.

Betas definitely have lost the "OMG I GOT IN!) Quality. I got into the BF Hardline beta and the Destiny alpha and I wasn't really excited for either. I just had a bunch of E3 excitement that led me to sign up.

Betas are now used more like demos and of course to encourage you to pre-order. I don't really mind that. Also MP games are getting bigger and more popular than ever and if devs don't get the kinks out of the system before launch the internet backlash can cause some big headaches.

P.S. I didn't plan on buying Destiny until the alpha lit a fire under me. I have not been so excited for a game for a long time.



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DemonNeno
Saturday, July 12, 2014 @ 5:50:44 PM
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I've always had the opportunity to play beta games on the PC. Never thought that the console versions were necessarily good candidates being that the hardware comes in 2 or 3 varieties (PS, xbox, and Nintendo). The PC stuff made sense; endless hardware combos with bugs to match. It still seems kind of unusual to see console betas. Don't get me wrong; I'm sure plenty of people are willing to give the game a spin. That's not to say it's necessary or that the console-minded gamers are really looking for bugs. The typical gamer will make excuses for poor operating games.

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Axe99
Saturday, July 12, 2014 @ 6:50:33 PM
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I think the first online beta on Playstation was the first SOCOM or Hardware, back when they were testing out their online (about 10 years ago - the idea that betas are a 'new thing', even on console, doesn't quite ring true from this angle).

Was in that way back when and was pretty excited about it (and I'd be in a H-Hour beta if there ever was one), but generally speaking I prefer to wait for the game to be finished then play it. Only games I know I'm going to play for hours and hours are beta-worthy, anything else and I'm just using up my enjoyment with the game before it's even finished, and that don't make no sense.

Last edited by Axe99 on 7/12/2014 6:50:43 PM

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LegendaryWolfeh
Saturday, July 12, 2014 @ 8:52:49 PM
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Betas? Psh. It's all about buying or getting into Alpha's now-a-days. /hipster

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VampDeLeon
Saturday, July 12, 2014 @ 9:51:49 PM
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I always considered those demos discs that use to be given out in the previous console generations to be the examples of betas, though betas typically translate into online play for PlayStation now.

Closed betas are more exciting since it's more reserved, having less players than open beta. On PS3 my more memorable experiences by getting closed beta access was Final Fantasy XIV and Uncharted 3. Open beta also included those and Uncharted 2.

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Nerull
Sunday, July 13, 2014 @ 3:28:42 PM
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I've never been in a beta. I applied for a couple on PC, but never got in. Betas for consoles are pretty much only for online games, which I never play.
So if there was one in a genre that applied to me that was so easy to get into I'd be all over it, but chances are I'll be sticking with demos.

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