Gears of War developer, Rod Fergusson, has urged people not to think of betas as demos, and believes the word has become misused.
Whilst speaking to MCV, Fergusson stated that he believes the word “beta” is twisted by the games industry and makes most people think it’s essentially a demo. In fact, The Coalition almost called the current Gears of War 4 beta an “alpha” in order to stress that it’s not a finished product.
“The industry has taken the word beta and twisted it to mean ‘pre-release demo’,” he said. “The community thinks they should be a highly polished demo. We are really focused on saying we’re pre-alpha right now. I even joked that we should call our beta an alpha just so people understand where we are and that we are actually looking for feedback and we’re actually testing systems.”
Furgesson also explained why the studio feels a beta is necessary to help Gears of War 4’s multiplayer be the best it can be. He gave Gears of War 2 as an example:
“We stumbled out of the gate with Gears 2 because it was our first time doing party-based match-making,” Fergusson explained. “We were testing that with 1,000 people internally with Microsoft and all of a sudden it was a million people and everything falls down.”
It is important to remember that betas are primarily used to help iron out any creases a game’s multiplayer might have before launch. What you’re playing isn’t the finished product.
The Gears of War 4 beta began on April 18 to all those who purchased Gears of War: Ultimate Edition. It will then be opened to everyone on April 25 and runs until May 1.