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Why Do Game Companies Charge for Beta?

Posted Nov 23, 2007 by Jon Wood

Why Do Game Companies Charge for Beta?

Community Manager Laura Genender take a look at an forum thread that asks the question: "Why do MMO companies think they can charge monthly for a beta game?"

This week on the forums, user Netzoko posed a question to his fellow MMOers. "Why do MMO companies think they can charge monthly for a beta game?" From Vanguard to Tabula Rasa, users are clamoring for polished, high end game play, well-done tutorials and so much more. The frustration in this thread is nearly palpable.

"Under no circumstance should a company think they can sell a half-assed product and get paid while they fix it," stated Netzoko. "To be honest, monthly fees are a rip-off anyway. Multiplayer games like GW, Diablo 2, and tons of FPS games profit who provide dedicated servers for FREE. Yet, games like Tabula Rasa charge an initial fee, plus a monthly fee for a game that should still be in alpha? It's an utter insult to all gamers that some people actually pay for this garbage."

First of all, the practical - it's not a insult to anyone, nor is it meant to be; MMOs are a product and for all that we become attached to them, we must remember that they take money to make and they're made to make money. With the large feature sets we demand in today's MMOs - stunning graphics, sandbox world, etc - developers are overshooting their budgets; when a game is out of money, my friends, it has to launch or scrap.

Read the whole thing here.