Gears of War 4 dev: Consumers think beta means highly-polished demo

The studio head of Gears of War 4 developer The Coalition has said the industry has ‘twisted’ what multiplayer betas mean.

Speaking to MCV, Rod Fergusson said that thanks to the industry’s misuse of the word, when consumers see ‘beta’, they think it means ‘demo’. The studio head said The Coalition nearly called its multiplayer beta for Gears 4 an alpha to drive home the point that it is not a finished product.

A beta for Gears 4 launched on April 18th for those who bought last year’s Gears of War: Ultimate Edition. It’s open to all on April 25th and runs until May 1st.

The industry has taken the word beta and twisted it to mean ‘pre-release demo’,” he said. The community thinks they should be a highly polished demo. We are really focused on saying we’re pre-alpha right now. I even joked that we should call our beta an alpha just so people understand where we are and that we are actually looking for feedback and we’re actually testing systems.”

Fergusson points out that, in the past, Gears of War games have not always had technically perfect launches – and is using its betas to ensure a smooth performance for Gears 4 on launch.

We stumbled out of the gate with Gears 2 because it was our first time doing party-based match-making,” Fergusson explained. We were testing that with 1,000 people internally with Microsoft and all of a sudden it was a million people and everything falls down.”

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