Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Fuzzy Avatars Solved! Please re-upload your avatar if it was fuzzy!

Paid Beta = bad practice

NildenNilden null, NBPosts: 1,284Member Uncommon

I feel like it's a bad business practice to charge full price so people can get in beta. Traditionally people would sign up for beta and the company would select people from a pool of applicants then go to open beta letting in the general public and stress testing. These people are free testers for the company of an unfinished product in beta. They would help test, find bugs, provide feedback, and improve the software. All of this free testing for the company. Then when the game is ready to release you would pay the full price for a finsihed,polished, tested product. I feel like it sets a bad presidence when a company takes the full purchase price before they have a fully complete and released product.

Juding by the fact that digital copies were sold out for guild wars 2 it seems like people don't care and are willing to just throw money at companies before getting a finished product. I feel that the company should be more responsible and say please by all means test our game we will only charge you for a released product not something still in beta, which has been the stand for many years.

Pre-orders are fine 5-10 bucks down so you reserve a copy at release is a lot different than paying full price in advance when it's truly only to get in a beta.

Have some faith in your product and charge people at release for a complete game. Am I the only person who feels this way?

How to post links.

"classification of games into MMOs is not by rational reasoning" - nariusseldon
Love Minecraft. And check out my Youtube channel OhCanadaGamer

«13

Comments

  • BeansnBreadBeansnBread PshPosts: 5,495Member Uncommon

    I agree. I think paid beta just makes people hostile when things don't work the way they're supposed to. 

     

  • ComafComaf Chicago, ILPosts: 1,154Member Common

    Originally posted by nilden

    I feel like it's a bad business practice to charge full price so people can get in beta. Traditionally people would sign up for beta and the company would select people from a pool of applicants then go to open beta letting in the general public and stress testing. These people are free testers for the company of an unfinished product in beta. They would help test, find bugs, provide feedback, and improve the software. All of this free testing for the company. Then when the game is ready to release you would pay the full price for a finsihed,polished, tested product. I feel like it sets a bad presidence when a company takes the full purchase price before they have a fully complete and released product.

    Juding by the fact that digital copies were sold out for guild wars 2 it seems like people don't care and are willing to just throw money at companies before getting a finished product. I feel that the company should be more responsible and say please by all means test our game we will only charge you for a released product not something still in beta, which has been the stand for many years.

    Pre-orders are fine 5-10 bucks down so you reserve a copy at release is a lot different than paying full price in advance when it's truly only to get in a beta.

    Have some faith in your product and charge people at release for a complete game. Am I the only person who feels this way?

    Welcome to the ever improving industry of the massively multi player video game.  Death to the RPG.

    image
  • PocahinhaPocahinha cidadePosts: 550Member
    No, the problem is people getting into a BETA thinking it will play without any bugs or probles like a game with 6 years post release...i call that stupidity and there is lots of it .
  • stayBlindstayBlind Suwannee, GAPosts: 527Member

    Oh man, I paid for the beta?

    Guess I'll have to buy the game when it comes out.

    Little forum boys with their polished cyber toys: whine whine, boo-hoo, talk talk.

  • NildenNilden null, NBPosts: 1,284Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Pocahinha

    No, the problem is people getting into a BETA thinking it will play without any bugs or probles like a game with 6 years post release...i call that stupidity and there is lots of it .

    Well when you pay full price your not a tester your a customer.

    How to post links.

    "classification of games into MMOs is not by rational reasoning" - nariusseldon
    Love Minecraft. And check out my Youtube channel OhCanadaGamer

  • CalmOceansCalmOceans BergenPosts: 2,273Member

    MMO have become E-sports in the minds of many people. Getting those 2 days of headstart or beta playtime ahead of everyone else is valuable to them, and value can be bought with money.

    If players didn't reach the level cap in a few weeks, the offer of a beta test or headstart would become far less attractive.

  • LobotomistLobotomist ZagrebPosts: 5,047Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by nilden

    I feel like it's a bad business practice to charge full price so people can get in beta. Traditionally people would sign up for beta and the company would select people from a pool of applicants then go to open beta letting in the general public and stress testing. These people are free testers for the company of an unfinished product in beta. They would help test, find bugs, provide feedback, and improve the software. All of this free testing for the company. Then when the game is ready to release you would pay the full price for a finsihed,polished, tested product. I feel like it sets a bad presidence when a company takes the full purchase price before they have a fully complete and released product.

    Juding by the fact that digital copies were sold out for guild wars 2 it seems like people don't care and are willing to just throw money at companies before getting a finished product. I feel that the company should be more responsible and say please by all means test our game we will only charge you for a released product not something still in beta, which has been the stand for many years.

    Pre-orders are fine 5-10 bucks down so you reserve a copy at release is a lot different than paying full price in advance when it's truly only to get in a beta.

    Have some faith in your product and charge people at release for a complete game. Am I the only person who feels this way?

    Completely agree with you.

    image

  • stevebmbsqdstevebmbsqd Orlando, FLPosts: 448Member

    Originally posted by nilden

    Originally posted by Pocahinha

    No, the problem is people getting into a BETA thinking it will play without any bugs or probles like a game with 6 years post release...i call that stupidity and there is lots of it .

    Well when you pay full price your not a tester your a customer.

    This. They should have waited for the game to be optimized prior to starting the weekend "events". Note they were called "events" and not tests.

  • GeezerGamerGeezerGamer ChairPosts: 5,586Member Uncommon

    The problem here is the strong marketing.

    It's one thing to tell people if you pre(whatever) you will recive access to the beta client and a login during times beta is available...And specifically state tha taccess is not guaranteed.

    It's another to guarantee beta access. That just makes no sense and I can't imagine how that isn't going to bite the company making that claim.

  • LarsaLarsa NurembergPosts: 990Member

    Remember the times when games didn't even have a pre-order?

    You went to a retailer and bought a box, just like everybody else. And no special, super V.I.P. or collectors or digital deluxe edition, because all that stuff didn't exist. And then the gaming industry learned that many gamers enjoy getting nickeled and dimed.

    And thus you now buy a digital deluxe edition with a "unique" item that every buyer of that edition gets and people don't even complain that their "unique" item is everything but unique. And everybody else can buy that "unique" item in the cash shop 6 months after release anyway.

    And now the gaming industry has learned that they can sell the product (pre-purchase) well before release. Won't take long and we'll see deals like "Pay today - play in 3 years". :)

    I maintain this List of Sandbox MMORPGs. Please post or send PM for corrections and suggestions.

  • rznkainrznkain Dugspur, VAPosts: 539Member
     Love hearing people say it is a beta or I am a beta tester when the only testing you did was there pre-order website that doesn't even ask your system specs or make you give any info other than your CC info.We all know when you pay to get into a beta you then are a customer and you expect to be inside the game playing the game not looking for bugs or trying to break parts of the game.So please stop sayin you are a beta tester.
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,765Member Uncommon

    So long as you don't pay for beta access yourself, it's not a problem for you.

    If you were running a game company and lots of people were willing to throw money at you to get access to the beta, would you accept it?  If not, then that's why you're not running a game company.

  • BeansnBreadBeansnBread PshPosts: 5,495Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by rznkain

     Love hearing people say it is a beta or I am a beta tester when the only testing you did was there pre-order website that doesn't even ask your system specs or make you give any info other than your CC info.We all know when you pay to get into a beta you then are a customer and you expect to be inside the game playing the game not looking for bugs or trying to break parts of the game.So please stop sayin you are a beta tester.

    Actually, they have a system where after everything you do, a little questionaire pops up in the upper left hand corner (edit: actually right hand corner. I failed pre-school) where you can rate different aspects of the experience. This like difficulty, characters, fun, etc. They also have a little place where you can add your comments and give feedback about the experience. It's also very easy to report a bug and I've reported more than a few.

     

    For instance, I was walking through water and from a certin angle the water appeared to be moving extremely fast. When I took a step forward, it looked normal again. It kept flipping back and forth. I've reported about how I can't put some of my skills in my utility bars for no reason that I can see. I've reported about wanting keybinds to be visible on the hotkey bars because it makes it more frustrating to play the game without them. I've reported like 12 other things that I see here and there.

     

    It's a beta and there are a lot of things to fix and there are a lot of people out there reporting things.

  • centkincentkin Asbury, NJPosts: 943Member Uncommon

    This is these "betas" should NOT be called beta.  Yes they are pre-release but they are NOT beta. 

    Beta is when you play a game hunting for bugs, in a game state where there are actually bugs to find. 

    Beta is generally a real server where they want you to have time trying to break things etc -- it is NOT a phased thing where you get 2 days this weekend and then another 2 days 2 weeks later.  That is more a marketing ploy -- trying to make you hungry for something you can not have. 

    A lot of times "real beta" and beta are run side by side.  Rift did this -- they had the "beta" people who played every other weekend and they had a different set of players who had a server that was actually pretty much always up where they did the real testing.  Pretty much by the time people hit the weekend betas, it was just stress and balance testing things.  The bugs were already hammered out.  Individual feedback did not mean much at that point.

    Thing is it is giving beta a bad name.  I go into a beta hoping and expecting to have an experience where I can still influence the course of the game, and make a difference.  That is NOT pre-pay preview faux-beta.

  • musicmannmusicmann port allen, LAPosts: 1,107Member
    I agree with the OP. Why take people's money before the game is released. What it tells me is that, even though they have the funds to develope and launch the game they don't have a 100% positive feeling the game will do very well and they want to get that upfront preorder money in case that feeling is correct. kinda underhanded if you ask me.
  • AbdullaDooAbdullaDoo Waukegan, ILPosts: 60Member

    Originally posted by nilden

    Juding by the fact that EA sold over 1 million pre-orders of Star Wars: The Old Republic it seems like people don't care and are willing to just throw money at companies before getting a finished product.

    Have some faith in your product and charge people at release for a complete game. Am I the only person who feels this way?

     

    FIxed. =D Hey, it was going to happen....

     

    Fact of the matter is that just because paid betas haven't been the industry standard doesn't mean that major games haven't had MANY players who would have paid to get to play the game early.

     

    So while I think it's fair that say that it's unfortunate that a company would use a beta to drive preorders for its game, it's the players who are perfectly willing to pay for the edge and self-esteem boost from the knowledge that they were *in* right from the start (clearly some beta players ARE people who want the game to be great and will 'test' it and report issues, but we all know that in any beta most are just there to be playings 'early'). Just like it's the players who tolerate all kinds of garbage from the gaming industry like DRM and DLC microtransactions. If there's a market for it, it's safe to say it's going to be exploited eventually.

     

    Certainly I agree that GW2 is testing the bounds of the notion of a "commercial release" and the expectations that come with a commercially released game -- if you're in the "beta" you paid for the game, and if you didn't pay you're not in; that distinction is effectively no different than it will be on release day -- but I'm sure some would argue the boundary has been ambiguous for a long time.  On the flip side one can call one version a "beta" and another a "release" but all released MMOs need some degree of work done to be properly functional.  Is there a matter of degree that separates one from the other?  It's an interesting discussion that will come up again and again for some time, I think.

     

    <- hasn't bought GW2

  • stayBlindstayBlind Suwannee, GAPosts: 527Member

    Originally posted by musicmann

    I agree with the OP. Why take people's money before the game is released. What it tells me is that, even though they have the funds to develope and launch the game they don't have a 100% positive feeling the game will do very well and they want to get that upfront preorder money in case that feeling is correct. kinda underhanded if you ask me.

    Or, you know, they are giving people who have been waiting years to play the chance to play it one weekend a month until it releases.

    Kind of like a "Hey guys, you were going to buy the game anyways, now you can play a bit before launch ('Cause we know you've been waiting forever!)"

    Little forum boys with their polished cyber toys: whine whine, boo-hoo, talk talk.

  • sonoggisonoggi tdot, ONPosts: 1,119Member
    it's an amazing idea. this weekend is easily worth $60 alone, not to mention the upcoming BWE's and the fact i get to KEEP the game. assuming youre talking about GW2.
  • gladosrev2gladosrev2 BialystokPosts: 203Member

    Originally posted by stevebmbsqd

    Originally posted by nilden

    Originally posted by Pocahinha

    No, the problem is people getting into a BETA thinking it will play without any bugs or probles like a game with 6 years post release...i call that stupidity and there is lots of it .

    Well when you pay full price your not a tester your a customer.

    This. They should have waited for the game to be optimized prior to starting the weekend "events". Note they were called "events" and not tests.



    I really don't understand how people can't get it into their heads and learn what beta means. Beta is meant to be broken and laggy and have all sorts of issues, and crash all the time. It's like a preview movie footage with placeholder CGI and temporary editing. That people *expect* to get a fully working smooth game is beyond me, really. Yes, you are a *tester* right now, and if you're disapointed by the state the game is right now, its your own fault, not ArenaNet's. It will be their fault once they release the game, then you can bitch and moan all you want, I'll happily join you.

    So far I find the PvP batlegrounds alone are worth the full price. Considering it's still beta gameplay it's phenomenal.

     

     

    My Guild Wars 2 First Beta Weekend "reviewette" : http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/post/4944570/thread/349125#4944570

  • musicmannmusicmann port allen, LAPosts: 1,107Member

    Originally posted by stayBlind

    Originally posted by musicmann

    I agree with the OP. Why take people's money before the game is released. What it tells me is that, even though they have the funds to develope and launch the game they don't have a 100% positive feeling the game will do very well and they want to get that upfront preorder money in case that feeling is correct. kinda underhanded if you ask me.

    Or, you know, they are giving people who have been waiting years to play the chance to play it one weekend a month until it releases.

    Kind of like a "Hey guys, you were going to buy the game anyways, now you can play a bit before launch ('Cause we know you've been waiting forever!)"



    Why would you have to pay for being a loyal fan/follower to a certain mmo that is coming out. If you are confident in your product, then do it the way it always was done. Game goes into alpha stage, invite the very loyal community members. Game goes into closed beta, invite even more. Game goes into open/stress test, invite all. Game launches, customers buys the game.

     

  • AnirethAnireth Posts: 599Member Uncommon

    Most games feel like they've never seen a beta two years and 20 patches after release.

    Also, never heard of Minecraft? Paid Beta.

    Or kickstarter? Pay now, play (or whatever) in 3 years.

    Or buy a car, get it in a year. Or a house. Anything, really.

    ArenaNets way to do things is unusual for professional game developers, but not for smaller, "indie" companies or outside game development.

    I'll wait to the day's end when the moon is high
    And then I'll rise with the tide with a lust for life, I'll
    Amass an army, and we'll harness a horde
    And then we'll limp across the land until we stand at the shore

  • GenreNinjaGenreNinja Houston, TXPosts: 159Member

    *yawn*

    I really don't understand how people get confused about this. This isn't a paid beta. They have to pick who gets into the beta one way or another. I'd much rather them give it to people who pre-purchase THE GAME as a perk, than continue just sending out random waves of invites to any bookah that signs up.

    People pre-purchased the game. Most of them, were going to pre-purchase the game with or without the beta access. I often pre-purchase my games because I like the midnight releases and rushing home to install, calling into work the next day, and vegging out on my  new game. 

    A paid beta, in my opinion, is when you pay to get into beta. That isn't the case here. People are pre-purchasing the finished product and being rewarded for their commitment with beta access. It's not bad practice it just pisses off the impatient.

    ---

    Live a life less ordinary.

  • GenreNinjaGenreNinja Houston, TXPosts: 159Member

    Originally posted by musicmann

    Originally posted by stayBlind

    Originally posted by musicmann

    I agree with the OP. Why take people's money before the game is released. What it tells me is that, even though they have the funds to develope and launch the game they don't have a 100% positive feeling the game will do very well and they want to get that upfront preorder money in case that feeling is correct. kinda underhanded if you ask me.

    Or, you know, they are giving people who have been waiting years to play the chance to play it one weekend a month until it releases.

    Kind of like a "Hey guys, you were going to buy the game anyways, now you can play a bit before launch ('Cause we know you've been waiting forever!)"



    Why would you have to pay for being a loyal fan/follower to a certain mmo that is coming out. If you are confident in your product, then do it the way it always was done. Game goes into alpha stage, invite the very loyal community members. Game goes into closed beta, invite even more. Game goes into open/stress test, invite all. Game launches, customers buys the game.

     

    this assumes, they're inviting loyal members? Since when has that ever been part of "the ways it always was done?" I've been around since the dawn of MMO's and the juggernauts pre-WoW never even had an "open beta" and the ones that did you could only get in if you had someone who was in give you one of their limited friend codes.

    Post-WoW, Alpha->Beta->Release is a marketing strategy and has always been a sign up and pray your one of the people randomly selected to get in. It's never been about loyalty.

    ArenaNet has made it about more about loyalty than most, and I'm glad they did. The attitude inside the Beta is by far one of the best social atmospheres i've ever encountered during beta. Sure you have yuor strong heads, but each and every person there is there because they are excited about this game. Not because they want to "try it" before they decide. They've all already decided.  

    ---

    Live a life less ordinary.

  • musicmannmusicmann port allen, LAPosts: 1,107Member

    Originally posted by GenreNinja

    Originally posted by musicmann

    Originally posted by stayBlind

    Originally posted by musicmann

    I agree with the OP. Why take people's money before the game is released. What it tells me is that, even though they have the funds to develope and launch the game they don't have a 100% positive feeling the game will do very well and they want to get that upfront preorder money in case that feeling is correct. kinda underhanded if you ask me.

    Or, you know, they are giving people who have been waiting years to play the chance to play it one weekend a month until it releases.

    Kind of like a "Hey guys, you were going to buy the game anyways, now you can play a bit before launch ('Cause we know you've been waiting forever!)"



    Why would you have to pay for being a loyal fan/follower to a certain mmo that is coming out. If you are confident in your product, then do it the way it always was done. Game goes into alpha stage, invite the very loyal community members. Game goes into closed beta, invite even more. Game goes into open/stress test, invite all. Game launches, customers buys the game.

     

    this assumes, they're inviting loyal members? Since when has that ever been part of "the ways it always was done?" I've been around since the dawn of MMO's and the juggernauts pre-WoW never even had an "open beta" and the ones that did you could only get in if you had someone who was in give you one of their limited friend codes.

    Post-WoW, Alpha->Beta->Release is a marketing strategy and has always been a sign up and pray your one of the people randomly selected to get in. It's never been about loyalty.

    ArenaNet has made it about more about loyalty than most, and I'm glad they did. The attitude inside the Beta is by far one of the best social atmospheres i've ever encountered during beta. Sure you have yuor strong heads, but each and every person there is there because they are excited about this game. Not because they want to "try it" before they decide. They've all already decided.  



    Well, that's what i meant. The post WOW era, with the alpha-closed-open types of game development cycles where you sign up and hope to get in. I just think if a dev company wants to have a closed stress test, like what's happening with GW2 at the moment and how it was with TOR, getting invited shouldn't be about loyal community members having to buy the product at full price or even spend 5 dollars before the game is even finished. Just send an invite to everyone that is registered on the official site. Wouldn't that be a more standup way of doing it, then making people pay because they know people are excited and want to try it out.

  • QSatuQSatu WarsawPosts: 1,733Member Uncommon

    People should learn what beta means. no it doesn not mean free demo. Although more and more game companies use it like that. It doesn't matter how you get into beta. Whether you pay or not.

    There was some misunderstandings. ANet should have stated that beta weekend ARE for testing and not free demos. Apparently a lot of people misundertood. (and i believe marketing division wanted people to misunderstand that too)

«13
Sign In or Register to comment.