Committed to Testing

In her Question of the Day, Spinks asks if players who pay to play are more invested in their games of choice.

I would definitely say this is the case of the Guild Wars 2 beta, which has necessitated paying $60 upfront in order to experience the game before release.

There is a certain contingent of MMO players that are fiercely loyal to their titles and, for whatever reason, wish newer games to fail. Some use open betas to demo games and if they don’t live up to expectations, attempt to create a negative current against a game or actively grief other players in public channels.

A paid-for beta filters out these voices – everyone who is playing GW2 has a vested interest in its success. This creates its own challenges, as opinions have to be taken with a grain of salt. Would all of these bloggers that invested $60 do so again, now that they have seen the content? Or would they just feel foolish for admitting that they were wrong to do so?

Either way, betas are now firming in the marketing domain, and I believe the days of being able to play a beta and then cancel your order are truly over.

About bernardparsnip

Gamer, Blogger, Poet
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6 Responses to Committed to Testing

  1. Vagabond says:

    Yes, this is basically the end of the Era when playing in a beta helped you to make the decision whether to buy the game or not. Now you need to buy it beforehand, and playing the beta will only help you to feel regret for your decision. (or not, depending on the quality of the game and your expectations)

  2. kaozz says:

    I’m at the point where unless I am completely bonkers I’m not going to ‘pay to beta’. As excited about GW2 I passed on that one. Anyhow, just wanted to pop over here and say hello and welcome from the NBI!

  3. Thanks and welcome to my corner of the internet!

  4. battlechicken says:

    I’ve noticed that every-other-game-is-bad attitude as well, and I don’t understand it. World of Warcraft is my game of choice, but I’ve played and enjoyed other betas and other games (yay, SWTOR). I can’t stand the “this game sucks, I’m going back to [my favorite mmo]” comments. Enjoy the game you love, let other people enjoy the game they love, right? Very thoughtful post; dig it! :D

    • Thanks for the feedback!

      I will be touching on the theme of the changing MMO market a lot in future blog posts. One my central tenets is that gamer habits are changing to accommodate playing multiple titles with various levels of commitment. However some aspects of gamer culture (“fanboy wars” etc) have not evolved to reflect this.

      • battlechicken says:

        Agreed. And, of course, the “fanboys” tend to yell the loudest, so they get heard more often than those of us who have learned to, uh…peacefully coexist with other games.

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