At a recent Atari press event, we had the opportunity to take an updated look at Horizons: Empires of Istaria. The game seems to be coming along well, and is currently in its third phase of beta testing. The developer is currently stress-testing its servers with about 4,000 beta testers, and may consider an open beta phase afterwards, if necessary. Artifact Entertainment plans to continue with its load-balance testing in the near future, and will then begin to roll out content updates for its testers to test--the first should include about 500MB of new content. Currently, Artifact has four servers running the game, one of which is the beta test server, though the developer plans to add more by the time the game launches, and also plans to keep the beta server open after launch as a QA server, similar to EverQuest's test server, on which players can play and test out new content before it goes live.
Want to read more? Gamespot has an updated version of Horizons.