Good news, Australian and NZ Bethesda fans, you'll be getting your hands on Battlecry before anyone else!
Bethesda were showing off its new free-to-play shooter Battlecry in full force at PAX Australia, 2014, and there were a lot of exciting announcements made about the game. The most exciting/disappointing of which (depending on where in the world you live) was the fact that Battlecry would be launching its closed beta in early 2015, exclusively in Australia. What is this crazy-upside-down world where Australians get video games before Americans?!
I had the opportunity to sit down with two of the leads behind the game, Rich Vogel and Lucas Davis, and as well as a full interview about the direction of the game (stay tuned for that later!), they offered a bit of insight into why they chose Australia for the beta test. "Australia has a small, hardcore gaming community that's easy to monitor," Vogel told me, adding that the fact that Australians all speak English means Bethesda can quickly and easily analyze their feedback.
The pair also explained that because the community is so small, they don't have to dedicate a huge infrastructure of resources, and can quickly make changes to the game. They said that Bethesda looked at a varitey of locations for which to start its limited beta test, and decided that this time, it was Australia's turn.
Of course, the very first question on my (and many people's) minds were "Will there be Australian servers?" to which Vogel responded with a resounding "Yes." The Australian servers for this game will be handled by Amazon's cloud-based network, right here on Aussie soil.
Vogel did add that the time difference between Australia and America would be a challenge, but one that's worth overcoming for a change to work with Australia's dedicated gaming community.
Australians and New Zealenders can sign up for the beta here, and Americans (along with the rest of the world), will just have to wait until later in the year.