Whenever a big-budget game is set to release, just a few months before, a BETA is released. A BETA is an unfinished version of the game available to a select few to try out. The gamers usually report bugs and give feedback and help the developers better the game.
But then, how are the devs supposed to decide on whom to allow into the BETA? An interesting question… for some games, like for Battlefield: Bad Company 2, they just decided to give away thousands of BETA keys. You can get into the BETA on a first-come-first-serve basis. That’s pretty fair, alright….
Then there are games like Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, where the developers decide that only the ones who have pre-ordered the game might get into the BETA. That, in my opinion, is unfair. How? Well, let me present a typical scenario: You buy a game. You love it. You post YouTube videos all over showing the nuances of the game, and the bugs and glitches. You’ve taken the pain to do all that because you love the game. Then a sequel is announced. You’re excited thinking you’ll get into the BETA. Then the devs announce that you can get into it only if you’ve pre-ordered the game! For some reason, you are out of means to pre-order it. So basically, you don’t get into the BETA.
For me in person, I would have been mad at that developer. How can they do that? Especially when I was so very active about the game, posting videos, voicing my opinions and pointing out bugs! It’s just unfair. The ideal way to let people into a BETA would be to identify the most active members of that game’s community and invite them. Media Molecule is one of the very few developers which follows this concept. They identified the most creative, contributing and helpful players of the LittleBigPlanet community and then invited them to try out the LittleBigPlanet 2 BETA. That’s perfectly reasonable, and in my opinion, that’s just what ever developer should do.