EBWorld is Selling SimsOnline Beta. How low can you go?

See http://www.ebgames.com/ebx/categories/products/product.asp?pf_id=520090

EBWorld are selling the SimsOnline. This is not a pre-sale, but an actual advertised sale of a beta product (full product to follow).

I can understand public beta programs. I have participated in a few myself and they are often a good thing from a game development standpoint. To SELL a game as a beta, however, is going a bit far however IMHO.

I admit it’s a tough economy, but this seems like an awefully sneaky way to sell something that isn’t done to a bunch of people that don’t know what they’re getting.

Opinions?

Diego Gallina

I don’t see anything wrong with it. They’re selling a pre-order and giving you the beta as incentive (plus some “founders” thing). There’s nothing shady about that at all, it’s all up front and in the open.

“Pre-order The Sims Online and get a free copy of The Sims Online Play Test. Only Play Test participants can become members of the Founders program. See details below.”

All you’re paying for on the beta is the $4.99 shipping. The $49.99 includes the final game.

It all looks pretty upfront to me.

I would have paid $4.99 to be in on the AoM Beta. I would not be in on the Sims Online Beta if you paid me, however.

This will soon become the norm. Get used to it.

Pre-sales are everything, and offering something playable like a beta or demo is significantly more compelling than a free t-shirt or map.

I dunno, I have a feeling the AC2 beta has turned away more people than served as an attraction of sorts ;)

They’ve already done some tie-ins like this before. NWN pre-orders came with a beta of the toolset (no game) for the same shipping charge, and of course the regular game to follow later.

Seems like just a neat extra for people.

Stardock is developing their new Galactic Civilizations like this. You can pre-order it and download the betas as they build new features into the game.

Not only does this give you a look at how the game is coming along, but Stardock is small enough to be open to feedback, so there’s even a sort of participatory angle.

FWIW, I just finished doing a preview of GalCiv and it looks a lot more promising than any other space themed strategy game due out this winter.

 -Tom

With my old favorite Fireteam, I believe I purchased a fully playable, relatively stable Beta version for $19.99 or so and received the headset w/ mic which was included with the final version. I still use it, I might add. I believe I still paid full price when the gold edition came out but I cannot remember for sure.

FWIW, I just finished doing a preview of GalCiv and it looks a lot more promising than any other space themed strategy game due out this winter.

Gee, what other space themed strategy game is due out this winter? ;-)

–Dave

MOO3 ?

I loved that game. I was really bummed to see it vanish.

Fireteam shipped with one of the nicest, high gloss boxes I have seen for any game (I still have it prominently displayed in my box graveyard). Between the magazine ads, pricey packaging, and internet only sales, I do not know how Multitude expected it to succeed. :cry:

I suppose it all depends on how you feel about the particular software involved.

I would pay to help test and finish a copy of GalCiv with Stardock. Brad and company do nice work and they’ve always been great to deal with when I’ve had any interaction with them.

I’m just not in a rush to pay to test an early version of the SimsOnline :-)

I don’t see anything wrong with it, as long as the buyer is clear on what he’s getting.

And what an interesting way to get a group of motivated Beta testers, :D.

I’m just not in a rush to pay to test an early version of the SimsOnline

But you might enjoy it if you were pre-ordering the game.

Personally, I wouldn’t mind checking out the beta, just for fun, and to see what the fuss is about, but won’t be paying money for the game once it’s out.

Yeah, Adam’s right.

And this is one of the reasons why I’m going to put putting all 500+ screen shots of BCG on a CD and having EB sell it as an incentive to get the full game next year. :D :D :D

/me sauntering off in search of more coffee

Isn’t it already the norm? Considering the massive patches most games need now adays, I thought publishing betas had been in vouge for several years now.