Bethesda have finally announced that the highly-anticipated B.E.T.A. for Fallout 76 will happen one month prior to the game's November 14th release date, first on Xbox One and later for PS4 and PC. Kicking off at some point in October, according to the Bethesda Game Studios’ community forum, initial beta testers will be randomly selected from a pool of players, starting small and then growing in size as the title gets closer to release.
It seems that the beta is going to be a rather lengthy process, then, which can only be a good thing. Bethesda’s past games haven’t exactly been smooth sailing at launch, and with the added challenge of taking the franchise online for the first time, it’s a little relieving that an extended test is going ahead. However, leaving it until the month before could indicate that it’s merely going to be a stress test for the servers. It probably won’t catch all the bugs and problems, but it should help, and also give the developers feedback on features to ensure a smooth transition for players at launch.
However, there is a catch. In order to get access to the beta, you have to have pre-ordered Fallout 76 and entered the registration code on Bethesda’s site. There was a little miscommunication at first, as it looked as though this code would be restricted to specific retailers, and not include everyone who pre-ordered. Fortunately, Pete Hines has since clarified that anyone with a pre-order (and not with a copy from a reseller) will be able to enter.
It’s easy to see this cynically as a way of essentially getting players to pay in advance to enter a lottery, but it does make sense that Bethesda would want die-hard fans to test 76. After all, they’re going to be essential in shaping the game up to release and beyond, so whose feedback would be more valuable?
Do you think restricting the B.E.T.A. to pre-order customers is a smart move? Let us know down in the comments!