Free MMORPG & Free MMOs

What’s the Deal with Closed Beta?

Posted on: May 3, 2009

Why do some games stay in closed beta for so long while others jump right into open beta so quickly? I’m tired of seeing games like Dragonica and RagnarokOnline 2 on the ‘closed beta’ lists, as those games have been in ‘closed beta’ for ages! As an MMORPG gamer, I sort of feel that a lot of game developers are just launching closed beta to get more publicity for their games. Giving out closed beta keys to several big gaming websites to giveaway can get an incredible amount of publicity for your game, so why shouldn’t game companies do it?

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Well firstly, a lot of beta key giveaways tend to be limited, so a lot of gamers end up having to wait for open beta or the full commercial release before they can play the game while others, who were lucky enough to be online during the giveaway got to play earlier. If the whole purpose of a closed beta is to find and fix bugs, wouldn’t this goal be better accomplished with MORE players actively playing the game? The players online, the easier it is for the game developer to find and fix bugs. Some people would argue that launching straight to open beta would be disastrous because of so many glitches and bugs, but in reality isn’t that the purpose of a beta release?

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I remember when Atlantica Online and Runes of Magic opened their doors in closed beta, I was lucky enough to get in on it, but I’m sure a lot of other eager gamers had to wait until open beta before they could get a taste of either game. Sure, no one is ‘entitled’ to playing a game early, but I think the goal of game developers should be to get their game out as early as possible and as efficiently as possible and perhaps focusing moving straight from internal testing to open beta can accomplish that.

Source: http://mmohut.com/editorials/whats-the-deal-with-closed-beta

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