Seems like alpha and beta versions of games are all the rage lately -- some are even accepted as “playable,” like DayZ -- so it’s no surprise that the big budget studios release beta versions of their games ahead of official retail release.
Sometimes it goes well. Other times, Battlefield 4 happens. And Electronic Arts faced the wrath of the consumers, many who threatened to never support the company again.
Which explains why EA is being so cautious about the release of “Titanfall,” their newest Xbox One exclusive. Rightly so -- the last two large releases (Battlefield 4 and SimCity) have been complete debacles. Still, they’ve announced that a beta version of Titanfall will be coming soon; Titanfall will have a closed beta with limited access, likely to limit the amount of potential issues and subsequent customer complaints. This way, EA will also be able to collect data on the multiplayer experience and server loads. Which is great, because poor preparation led to the poor performance of SimCity. Here’s hoping EA gets Titanfall correct.
That said, the Xbox 360 version of the game will launch on March 25th in the US, two weeks after the Xbox One version. The official reason for this delay? To “ensure the full world of Xbox gamers has an awesome experience.” There was no talk of what exactly needed to be done in the two extra weeks, but it’s not unlikely that Microsoft would prefer to push the most powerful version on their new, more powerful system first. The PC version of the game will also launch on March 11th in the US, alongside the Xbox One version.
But console games aren’t the only ones making a splash lately.
Flappy Bird. You’ve heard of it, I’m sure -- at 50,000 downloads a day, it’s quickly spreading to Candy Crush Saga-levels of ubiquity. The game has managed to surge to the top of both the iOS App Store and the Google Play Store, despite taking all of its gameplay and most of its style from other games.
Despite the copycat (and frankly broken design) nature of the game, it remains the current mobile phenomenon. Luckily for the Vietnamese creator, he didn’t name the game “Flappy Bird Saga.” He’d already be knee-deep in litigation.
Whatever happened to releasing fully tested, original games?