The line between a demo and beta has been blurred in recent years, many games have had an open beta just weeks before launch, clearly not enough time to incorporate any feedback in to the final product. They are a marketing device, a beta appears to be more exclusive, more special than a demo, and are there to build hype for the game rather than improve it.
It’s nice to hear Bioware won’t be using this tactic, despite Executive Producer Mark Darrah hinting otherwise. Vg247’s Kirk McKeand spoke to Bioware’s Jonathan Warner at Gamescom and he dropped the truthbomb.
McKeand: Will there be a beta?
Warner: A what?
McKeand: A beta.
Warner: Ah, a demo. You’re going to have opportunities to play the game early and we want to talk about that at PAX.
McKeand: You say demo – so will it be a beta or a demo?
Warner: Well, I think there’s some weirdness in there. We’re going to be testing the game in closed alphas, and then the stuff that is out to the public is a demo.
McKeand: Because betas are often close to launch, right?
So there we go, an actual demo. Now we just need to bring back cover mounted blu-rays on from the front of Official PlayStation magazine and all is well with the world.