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Richard Vogel Talk: MMO Betas

Posted Sep 07, 2006 by Dana Massey

Richard Vogel Talk: MMO Betas

Richard Vogel, the Co-Studio Director of BioWare Austin, gave a talk on MMO Betas. Vogel has also worked on Ultima Online.

We’ve all beta’d a game. It’s that special golden age, where actions don’t matter, money isn’t an issue, and players are actually encouraged to find bugs. It’s that period of time where communities are small and selective (closed betas), or overflowing with penniless teens, unable to purchase a subscription to a live game (open betas). They are our golden years, our memories of the beginning.

But what’s it like to be on the other side of the coin, to run a beta period for a game instead of play in it? This year at the Austin Gaming Conference Richard Vogel, Co-Studio Director of BioWare Austin, gives us a unique view on his world.

Rich himself has run about 4 separate betas, each of which were unique. The beta experience, he said, has changed over the years; players participating in betas used to be hardcore gamers who wanted to test the game, give feedback, and help discover bugs. Today’s beta testers have more selfish goals: we seek to gain advantage by learning the layout of the game and the UI and to try the game before we buy it.

You can read more here.


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