TheSixthAxis Criticizes Developer for Beta Testing

April 17, 2009Written by Draisey


An author of TheSixthAxis recently posted up an article that questioned why Titan Studios, the developers behind Fat Princess, were doing a closed beta test for the PSN title. Turning the closed beta into a fun, little contest was a neat idea on the developer’s part, and does stand to create some positive buzz for the quirky, innovative title. What better process to see if gamers respond well to the title than to let actual gamers become exposed to it for the first time?

TheSixthAxis, however, feels otherwise and asks:

“…what kind of credentials would the general gamer have to provide valid, constructive criticism to a game clearly still very much in development?”

Well, let’s see. Anyone who’s been playing games for the past few years generally has a pretty good grasp on what makes games fun. You wouldn’t choose the games you did unless you found them enjoyable. And it’s not like the development team doesn’t have access to Sony’s internal QA testers; this is simply a way of getting public feedback on the game.

The author continues to judge gamers, arguing that:

“…they’d download the game, get bored within the hour and write off the promising PSN title as a bug-ridden disaster.”

Now this is just jumping the gun. Unless you’ve actually played the game, there’s no way to know if the title has had the majority, or all, of its bugs and glitches removed. Therefore, it’s unprofessional for TheSixthAxis to make technical criticisms without having had any hands-on experience.

From the gameplay footage that’s been shown, Fat Princess looks like a lot of fun, and definitely not something that gamers would suddenly get bored of. Public betas are simply a good way to iron out any possible gameplay imbalances and squash any remaining bugs, some of which only occur in very specific scenarios. Also, it’s important to point out that only 5000 people will be allowed to participate in this Beta. It’s not a simple contest that anyone can win.

So what do you guys think? Are Public Betas a waste of everyone’s time, or do you feel such Betas are a positive way of improving the final product? Let us know.