Should Betas Be Pre-Order Incentives?

Should Betas Be Pre-Order Incentives?

The Destiny Beta is already solid, heck even the Alpha was, but is it solid enough to sell it to the masses? The general reaction is positive, with most people coming over to the concept of the MMO like nature of Bungie’s next big thing. The confusion that surrounded Destiny has seemingly been eradicated as a result of both the Alpha and the Beta. As more and more people become aware of exactly what Destiny. This has led to a few curious questions over the new role of Betas, both in terms of the game and it’s marketing.

Betas were traditionally used to to test builds, allowing for feedback to be given and bugs to be found. As time has went on, Betas have become turned into something of a marketing tool. While there’s nothing wrong with offering Beta access as a pre-order incentive, there is a risk of flooding them with unresponsive players. The key element to a successful Beta is reaction and feedback from it’s players, the most vocal of them being the most important.

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Vocal Beta testers are a key asset when it comes to gathering feedback. Those who are willing to report a bug, fill in a survey, report what they liked and what they didn’t. While it may sound obsessive, perhaps too keen, these people are exactly what a Beta truly require to be a success on a technical term. This is where potential issues arise in terms of using Betas as a pre-order incentive.

The way in which Betas are thrown around these days. The majority of people jumping into betas they gained access to via pre-order will have no interest in giving feedback. They’ll see it as a taste of things to come, almost a demo, which is a disservice to the Alpha/Beta process as well as the developers of said game in the Alpha/Beta stage.

It begs the question if these Betas on offer are in fact betas at all. It’s a odd concept that such a important part of the development process has now becoming a marketing tool to gain bore pre-orders. Perhaps it’s just the natural progression of the industry, perhaps it’s just smart business. What ever the reason is, using Betas as a means to gain pre-orders still feels a little off.

Sean Halliday

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