Steam launches Early Access, a better way of doing Beta programs

New Steam Early Access service changes the way video game beta testing works.

@CharlesJGantt
Published Thu, Mar 21 2013 8:40 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 12:24 PM CST

We're willing to bet that more than a few of our readers have participated in a video game beta test before despite the fact that they are sometimes hard to get into. Up until now, you usually had to rely on being selected to participate in those beta programs, but Valve is looking to change that.

Steam launches Early Access, a better way of doing Beta programs | TweakTown.com

Steam has just released a new service called Early Access that makes participating in beta test easier. Instead of filling out form after form, and email after email, Valve's solution is to let game developers simply charge users to be part of the beta. Developers can chose to offer the beta for free through the service or charge users full price for the game, which rolls over to your steam library when officially launched.

As of this posting, the Early Access program has 12 titles including some heavy hitters like: Arma 3 Aplha, Kerbal Space Program and Star Forge Alpha. It is still up in the air if gamers are willing to buy a game at full price months before release just to get access to the beta program, but something tells me that it will be a success.

What are your thoughts? Would you pay $33 to be part of Arma 3's early access?

A web developer by day, Charles comes to TweakTown after a short break from the Tech Journalism world. Formerly the Editor in Chief at TheBestCaseScenario, he now writes Maker and DIY content. Charles is a self proclaimed Maker of Things and is a major supporter of the Maker movement. In his free time, Charles likes to build just about anything, with past projects ranging from custom PC cooling control systems to 3D printers. Other expensive addictions include Photography, Astronomy and Home Automation.

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