betawatch

Massively Overpowered’s Betawatch feature chronicles the adventures and misadventures of MMOs in various stages of testing. You might also be interested in Make My MMO, which focuses on crowdfunded games in particular. [Follow this feature’s RSS feed]

Betawatch: Wild West Online is getting a big revamp (March 9, 2018)

Remember Wild West Online? The game made a lot of noise through early testing, but it went fairly quiet. Turns out the reason for that was a top-to-bottom revamp of the game’s client, so there have been a lot of changes in the current version of the game. Good news, though, that test version is almost ready for players to try.

More beta news? Sure thing, that’s what we usually do here. It’s a thing.

And yes, there is a list below with a whole lot of games in testing. Some of them might also be in “open beta” hiding no planned wipes and an open cash shop, and if you could let us know about that, we’d be grateful. You have to keep your eyes open for these things. They’re tricky.

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Betawatch: Camelot Unchained is working for its beta on July 4 (March 2, 2018)

After a lengthy wait, the first beta for Camelot Unchained is here at last! That’s what we’ll be saying in about a hundred days, because that beta doesn’t actually start until July 4th, but there’s a lot of work being done in the ramp-up for that beta. So now we have a bit of time to kill until then. Who’s up for Scrabble?

Meanwhile, we bid farewell to H1Z1, as the game… technically launched? It’s kind of ambiguous. We’ll go with a launch. Get out of here, H1Z1. Let’s get on with other beta news.

Below us, the list of games we have in testing can also kneel in deference. You, dear readers, can just look through the list at your leisure. Do let us know if something is on there that ought to be listed differently, though, or if there’s something else awry. We appreciate it.

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Betawatch: Where have all the H1Z1 players gone? (February 23, 2018)

Oh, the many antics of H1Z1 have brought us so much joy over the years. Remember when the game launched into paid early access that it never seemed to leave? And remember when it got split into two games to chase the success of its unexpectedly popular battle royale version? And remember when it lost 90% of its players since July once there were competitors for that gameplay style? Ah, memories. Well, that’s all of them. Given all of that, maybe it makes sense that the game is at least approaching launch now… probably.

Do we have other beta news this week? You bet your sweet bippy we do, and much of it has significantly less schadenfreude.

And, of course, there’s a whole list of games down below, games that are forever in testing and those that are just in testing for the moment. Is something on there that ought not be any longer? Do let us know so we can correct it. Or just share beta stories in the comments, that’d be cool too.

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Betawatch: The beta for mobile MMOARG Maguss is about to begin (February 16, 2018)

Remember Maguss, the Harry Potter-esque ARG everyone was buzzing around right up until Pokemon Go company Niantic said it was making Harry Potter: Wizards Unite? It’s just about to launch its open beta; you west coasters will want to wake up early on Saturday indeed to make the 8 a.m. EST starting time on Android and iOS. The game originally raised almost half a million dollars on Indiegogo, so its popularity seems assured!

What else happened in the world of MMO testing this week?

  • Camelot Unchained finally has a beta date: the fourth of July. Fortunately, nothing else important happens on that day. Our interview all about how beta will work is pretty great if we do say so ourselves.
  • Dead Maze officially launched! No more beta! Free at last!
  • Villagers & Heroes seeks iOS beta testers ahead of its launch at the end of this month.
  • Project Gorgon laid out the details of its upcoming Steam beta.
  • Stardew Valley promised multiplayer beta this spring.
  • Soulworker Online is inching ever closer to testing here; forums for NA and EU arrived this week.
  • Ashes of Creation dazzled again with more footage of “alpha zero” gameplay.
  • Staxel landed on our sandbox radar; it’s currently in early access.
  • Bless Online is anticipating that when it starts, its early access open beta will run half a year.

We’ve tucked whole list of games temporarily and very much permanently in test stasis right on down below.

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Betawatch: Eco evolves into open beta (February 9, 2018)

At long last, ECO has moved from alpha into beta and Early Access on Steam. Drop a little money on it and you can get into testing this blocky ecological simulation sandbox. Yes, it’s along the lines of Minecraft, but the goal here is simulating the influence you can have on ecological simulations. So you can insist to others that it’s educational and actually be right.

We’ve also had some other beta news this week, and as we do every week, we’ve assembled some highlights below in easy-to-read list format.

All of the questions above, I promise, were purely rhetorical. You don’t need to answer them down in the comments. You can, however, let us know if something is wrong with the list below where we keep all of our important beta news. You can also let us know about betas you’re involved in testing, or talk about this week’s stories, or whatever you so desire. We’re flexible that way.

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Betawatch: Legends of Aria starts its closed beta (February 2, 2018)

Congratulations, Legends of Aria, we’re glad to see that you’re in closed beta now. It’s been a twisting road for this particular title, but we’re hopeful that the road ahead will be filled with fun and success. What? That was serious. There was no sarcasm in there. Seriously, it’s sometimes hard to tell.

Other beta news? Sure thing, buddy. Just for you.

Ah, it’s not really a new year until we’re arguing over spacecraft, is it? But don’t you worry, we’ve got our usual list down below, and we’re always interested to hear from you if something isn’t on there that should be, is on there that shouldn’t be, or should be on there and is on there but isn’t listed in the right test phase. Let us know down in the comments!

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Betawatch: Sea of Thieves hits closed beta (January 26, 2018)

It was foretold, and then it happened. Sea of Thieves hit its closed beta this week with play anywhere functionality fully intact. The bad news is that beta hit back with some bugs, one of which has a workaround of requesting a refund and then re-purchasing the game. Hopefully extending the beta until January 31st provides a bit more time to fix these issues?

Ah, well. Let’s see if other games are navigating their betas decently. What have you got for us, magic list (it’s not actually magic)?

It’s nice to see that 2018 is both replete with beta news and with stories that are just plain weird (it’d be sad if we couldn’t call back to Steven Seagal on a boat, after all). So what about other beta stuff? We’ve got a list down below! Let us know if something on it is inaccurate, like a game that’s tacitly launched or something that we may have missed. It’s appreciated.

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Betawatch: Chronicles of Elyria hit with sizable layoffs (January 19, 2018)

So it looks like things are not all roses and light behind the scenes for Chronicles of Elyria, as the studio has apparently let several of its team members go. How many? We don’t have an exact number, just a knowledge that the team had apparently doubled in sized and is now notably reduced. Here’s hoping for the best for the people affected by the layoffs.

Other beta news? Perhaps even happier news? Sure thing. We can do that.

We can’t promise that our list below is all good news. It’s a list. It organizes entries in list format. But you can still take a look at it, and if something on that list is inaccurate, you can let us know and we can fix it. Is that good news? Maybe!

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Betawatch: Sea of Thieves heads to closed beta cove later this month (January 12, 2018)

Avast, feast your eyes here, ye swabbies: Sea of Thieves be settin’ sail for the waters of closed beta on the 24th of January for both PC and the Box of X. Hoist the mainsails and prepare to have your senses bedazzled, as no shroud separates ye from the testing, nor any NDA. Ye can even read up on the intelligence what governs those fancy skeletons that be dancin’ about, or ye could pick up a fine new hand-held controller for a heft spot of dubloons.

Other news for betas? Aye, ’tis a fine time to discuss the other ships what sit full in the water.

Now, I’ve told my tale and told it true, so ye ought let me be. But first, cast your eyes to the horizon, and ye can see our full list of games what be in beta testin’ right now! Aye, a beautiful sight; take a fine boat below, and keep your eyes peeled if one of those salty dogs what slipped into a new test phase without us recognizin’ it ahead of time.

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Betawatch: A new year, a new closed beta (January 5, 2018)

Here we are, in the untamed wilderness of 2018! It feels a lot like 2017 so far, except that it’s a year later. Also, at least here, it’s buried under snow. Also, Global Adventures has moved into its closed beta test, which is new. You can get in on that, although you should feel fairly warned that it’s going to have a wipe prior to open beta, so fairly warned be ye.

For the most part, it seems that studios were still remembering that they have to get back to work if they’re going to enjoy the new year. But we still had some movement on the beta front, so that’s all right. Examples of such are listed below.

That’s not a bad way to kick off the year, huh? There’s going to be more this year, we’re sure, but we’ve still got a list past the break of the games we know to be in testing. If something has skipped into launch or seems to have quietly shuttered while evading our notice, do let us know down in the comments. It’s very helpful and we appreciate it.

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Betawatch: The preparation for the next year (December 29, 2017)

The last week of the year is always a time of anticipation and a fair amount of “let’s get this dumb year finished already,” so it comes as no surprise that most beta-related news this week is all about getting ready for next year rather than working too hard at the remaining one. Rend, for example, is looking forward to starting its alpha in the start of 2018. What day? Not important yet. It’ll be the start of the year, that’s all you need to know.

Other anticipatory news of the week?

And with that, we bring the end of Betawatch… for 2017. Seriously, we’ll be back here next week like always, and we’ve got our usual list below. If something has skipped off to another phase without us noticing, please, do let us know in the comments. Stay safe, and we’ll see you all again when 2018 rolls around.

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Betawatch: Holiday testing, ho ho ho (December 22, 2017)

It’s holiday time, and that means everyone is leaving the offices early now. Except for those of us who work from home, because we can’t leave our offices. We live in them. But there’s still stuff afoot in testing, like Legends of Aria eyeing down its official closed beta start on January 15th next year, or the really real for real March 27th launch date for Shroud of the Avatar. Have a slightly belated holiday present!

More beta news? Why not, it’s enough to keep you comfortable through the holiday.

And now, it’s time for us to cap off the pre-holiday rush with… a list of games, you know how it is. They should all be in testing. Is something on there which ought not be? Let us know down in the comments, and do be specific. And enjoy your holidays, whether you’re testing a game during the next few days or just playing existing ones.

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Betawatch: Ashes of Creation testing is set for today (December 15, 2017)

Who wants to play a guessing game? If you’re an Ashes of Creation backer, you get to play one whether you answered yes or no! See, the game’s first test is scheduled to start today, so everyone gets to find out if they’re in one of the expected invitation waves or not. A new storefront was launched on the official site regardless, with the actual kickoff of testing expected later today (there’s supposedly a stream at 6 p.m. EST). There’s a lot of guessing going on.

More pre-holiday beta news? Yes, before the real lull begins.

So happy not-quite-holidays, folks! And check out our list just below, let us know things that have jumped testing phases without us noticing, you know the deal. Just remember that testing games isn’t a gift, it’s a responsibility. Like puppies, or baby llamas, or insect-raising kits, or LEGO kits that request you building several dozen models before you’re allowed to stop.

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