Epic Deliberating Over Bulletstorm Beta

Epic Deliberating Over Bulletstorm Beta

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Betas can build a buzz about a game, says CliffyB, Epic's design directive, but can also hurt sales.

Cliff Bleszinski says that Epic is weighing up the pros and cons of giving upcoming shooter BulletStorm a public beta. Bleszinski didn't promise anything, but implied that there would be an opportunity for people to be hands on with the game before its release, whether through a beta or a demo.

While Bleszinski has previously been a critic of betas and demos, he said that he had recently started warming to the idea. He said that there were plenty of upsides to betas however: they were incredibly helpful in the discovery and removal of bugs, they made gamers feel like VIPs, and they helped generate a buzz about the game. The problem with betas, he said, was that some people would play the game and enjoy it, but decide that the beta was enough for them and not buy the finished product.

From what Bleszinski is saying, it seems like the decision comes down to whether the value of bug spotting and building excitement about the game is more valuable than the potential loss of sales that might come from letting people play it pre-release. You've got to assume there are other factors as well - the cost of operate a beta, for example - but Bleszinski sounds like he's rather keen on doing something ahead of launch.

BulletStorm comes out for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC on February 2011.

Source: PlayStation Blog via VG247

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If Gears 2 had a beta I'm sure it would have lost some sales. Gotta love completely broken and horrible multiplayer. So it goes..

BUT, a beta for bulletstorm would be pretty nifty. I'm looking forward to the game, and I'd like to get a chance to play it.

You mean he's afraid his game sucks?

How the hell would a beta hurt the sales of the game? When I have played a beta I want the full game even more.

Hells yeah! Put a beta out. I'd play that beast a ton and then still buy it when it's released. It seems like it will be reminiscent of old school type arcade shoot 'em up games but with a modernness to it. This is probably my most anticipated game of next year, it sounds like it will be awesome right from its burly head down to it's testosterone laden toes.

It'd be nice to see this game get a Beta if purely for bug testing the multiplayer, even if I'm not a part of it, this game is currently on my "must buy on launch day" list of games which currently include KillZone 3 and in the past was only occupied by Sonic The Hedgehog 2 and God Hand.

Yep you heard right the only games in my 29 year life I've ever wanted to own on launch day are God Hand, Sonic 2, KZ 3 and BulletStorm.

I am not really concerned about Bulletstorm.

The Gears of War 3 HAS to happen or else you really going to fuck shit up with a die-hard fan like me, I want a beta, I want a crisp and clean MP with proper net-coding for once. Though dedicated servers sounds rock-solid for awhile.

The last 4 updates on The Escapist have made my night!

I would love to get my hands on a demo of bulletstorm

Unless this game is completely broken, like worse than New Vegas (doubt it will be), I'll be buying it. A beta or demo or something would be amazing, too.

Oh come on. How many people get into the beta? Is it really so many that it warrants making a note on the bottom line?

Cliff really channelled Kotick's spirit for this one.

Wait, aren't betas usually just for multiplayer? Does this mean Bulletstorm does in fact have multiplayer then? If not then it's just a demo, and demos never hurt sales, at least not that I'm aware (unless the game is utterly terrible of course, but I doubt that's the case here).

Either way this game looks awesome and I will most definately be buying it. A demo would be nice though, febuary is still too far away.

Daemascus:
How the hell would a beta hurt the sales of the game? When I have played a beta I want the full game even more.

You should have played the beta for Spec Ops: The Line. It was soooooooooooo bad, they wanted us to find bugs and report but the whole game was a bug, they didnt needed us. I lost all interest in that game although knowing that they could fix all of that crap. Games now dont change all that much from the Open Beta state to the retail release, they only tweak stuff and avoid bugs like not respawning or something like that. In SO:TL everything was trash, the visuals were actually very poor, didnt had anything to do with what we had seen in the trailers. I was very disapointed for them to call that a beta when other companies release betas that are one year of development ahead.

The Hive Mind:
You mean he's afraid his game sucks?

Exactly what I thought when I read this.

Think what would have happened if Gears 2 had a beta, they could have found out that the multiplayer completely failed, and could have fixed it.

Bulletstorm is definitely a game that needs a demo. From what I read about the game, it seems very focused on the points for cool kills system. Something like that could be fun for some, but a pain for others.

I'd say this is the kind of game that would certainly benefit from a Beta because it looks like one of those games which could either be great fun or god-awful. At least by having an open beta you give people the option to play it at no risk and potentially realise it is fun....but if it stinks, then the beta will have certainly helped to kill some sales.

The problem with betas, he said, was that some people would play the game and enjoy it, but decide that the beta was enough for them and not buy the finished product.

Is he some kind of retard? the main goal of a beta should be to spot and locate bugs and problems within the game so EVERYBODY else got something enjoyable to play.

Daemascus:
How the hell would a beta hurt the sales of the game? When I have played a beta I want the full game even more.

that is if the game is good.

All recent Blizzard game have about 6 month of beta and I think it work pretty well for them.

I'm with the crowd - if the game's good, a beta/demo builds buzz. If it sucks, well yes, it hurts sales. I rarely buy games without a demo. No demo, I want multiple reviews and preferably some friends to try it. Don't like that? RELEASE A GD DEMO.

I think people should know (just in case you don't) that bulletstorm's multi is a mode called Anarchy that pits 4 players together to use a wave of enemies and a hazardous arena in order to build enough points to get to the next round. There's an article on gamespot.

Also I think he should have a beta since the game is 2.5 months from release and this will give players a taste of the action, and clear up some bugs.

here's the bottom line: release a true BETA to the players, and as long as it's not a shit game, you can bet that not only will you manage to iron out a lot of the bugs, but you will increase yer sales. the FPS market gets bored of the so called betas that come out because they release what appears to be the finished product, with no real progress made from teh beta stage at release. if they legitimately use it for what it is worth, and it's not another FPS clone we've seen a million times, there is no way it can hurt sales. otherwise, yeah, you at least might want to get those bugs fixed...

if the game is good enough to keep, people will buy it as well as play the beta.

It's shit like this that makes me lose confidence in the gaming industry. This is YOUR game, Cliff. It's your baby. How can you be unconfident that people will buy it? I mean, seriously, if you're not confident that your game doesn't have staying power, maybe it shouldn't be priced at 59.99 (which I'm sure it will be, come release).

Yea, if a dev is worried about a demo, I'm worried about the game.

As for the beta thing. It's their own damn fault for treating it like it's some sort of prize. If someone gets a beta and it's treated like an early release rather than an unfinished product "we need your help with," there's going to be some people who just think the game is going to be crappy.
Back when people got paid for beta testing, they understood that they were doing a job and understood that this was in no way the finished product.
Last time I got "invited to a beta" they didn't even give me any way of giving any input at all. It was basically treated as a demo.
Of course people are going to get the wrong idea.
Filed under - Publishers can be a real bunch of dumbasses sometimes.

 

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