Is alpha and beta testing killing the excitement for new games?
When I was a kid I would be hyped for the release of a new game, I could have never played the game once but advertising in magazines like Game Informer, IGN, and Game Revolution made it so interesting I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy.
Now we have ushered in a new era where alpha and beta testing for games is now open to the general public. Long gone are the days where these privileges were only given to people who developed the game or worked for a big publisher that would write about the dynamics of said game. These days all it takes is a preorder months in advance and you have the opportunity to test the alpha or beta version of new video games. Fewer than not gamers are gifted with the opportunity to play video games in their entirety before release date and upload video footage to websites like Youtube and Twitch.
A notable one is a new PC game called Everspace. Everspace allows you to chose how you want to test the game , with options to preorder for beta or alpha. You’ll get the opportunity to test the game long before its release date. I’m considering this myself but then I wondered, will I even be excited when it actually releases to everyone else? Will I have the same excitement to share with my friends?
There’s reasoning behind why this thought crossed my mind. When I beta tested for Tom Clancy’s The Division I pretty much tested every aspect that is included in the full game.. Doing things like story missions, setting up the base, side missions and even entering the dark zone were aspects of the the game that were available during beta testing. Don’t get me wrong I was extremely excited on release day but after a week of playing the game I’d grown complacent and was ready for DLC. DLC that I would have to purchase a season pass to gain access to, but that’s another story for another day. Could this be because I’d played to much of the game in beta?
Personally, I think demo’s are a better option for gaining the public appeal but I do see advantages of inviting the public to test games. It’s really important to know how servers will hold up to multiple users before launch, but maybe cutting back on the amount of content available during beta testing will keep the beta testers as interested as the general public and also prevent spoilers.
I’m interested in hearing others opinions on the subject, leave a comment or tweet me.