The multiplayer beta for Trackmania 2: Canyon begins next week, with access granted to anyone willing to pay for the game up front.
Nadeo and Ubisoft are doing something a little different with the upcoming Trackmania 2: Canyon beta. Anyone can get in at any time, as long as they're willing to lay down the purchase price of the game first.
"We're offering from August 17 onwards, until the launch of the game, the multiplayer beta to each one of you buying TrackMania 2: Canyon," Nadeo announced on the ManiaPlanet blog. "It is a turning checkpoint for Ubisoft Nadeo as we will be opening doors to all of the players willing to jump into the first ManiaPlanet online title right away."
The new Trackmania game is planned to be the first of several Trackmania 2 titles, all of which will connect through a new content hub called ManiaPlanet. The multiplayer beta will include the usual map editor and "mediatracker" for editing videos, and will automatically updated to the full version of the game on launch day.
Nadeo can get away with charging for beta access because while the Trackmania fan base isn't necessarily huge, it is very dedicated, in no small part because Nadeo has gone way above and beyond over the years to build and support its audience with free updates, expansions and even full-on games like Trackmania Nations. Trackmania games are also ridiculous amounts of fun, particularly in multiplayer matches, where dozens of cars can go head-to-head in various race modes on both official and user-made tracks. It's good stuff!
No release date for the PC-exclusive Trackmania 2: Canyon has been announced but if you need something to keep you focused on the start of the beta, a countdown widget for Windows Vista and 7 is available at trackmania.com.