Sony Opts For Alternative Beta Testers

Playtesters get a raw deal. Sat hunched over a screen repeatedly going over the same bit of code continuously is neither glamourous nor well paid, but someone’s got to do it. The promise of something nice and new is a common carrot dangled in the front of those on the front line, so when we heard Sony were planning a closed beta for their forthcoming action game Fat Princess, surely they would pull from the ranks?

No. All you need to do is send a picture of yourself eating some cake to the PlayStation Blog Facebook page. The first 250 people to do so will get their exclusive invite to the beta. Seriously. The blog warns that “This is a real beta; the developers don’t just want you to play, they value your feedback. You should only participate if you’re willing to report your experiences on the closed beta forums, discussions, surveys, etc. You won’t just be having fun, you’ll be helping to make Fat Princess an even better game when it debuts on PSN this summer.”

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Call me jaded, but I’m sorry, what kind of credentials would the general gamer have to provide valid, constructive criticism to a game clearly still very much in development? Any one of my friends could take a picture of themselves demolishing a Battenburg, but would they be up to the task of finding the bugs, working with the developers to iron out the issues and make Fat Princess the game it deserves to be? No, they’d download the game, get bored within the hour and write off the promising PSN title as a bug-ridden disaster.

Perhaps I should just stop crying about Sony’s bizarre beta selection system and nip out for a muffin. Where’s my camera?

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