Yesterday, we at Video Game Culture HQ gave you our impressions of the Gears of War 4 beta. We felt that it was very unrefined and we were worried for the final product, but we also said that we were hopeful that it will be fine. Today, studio head of The Coalition Rod Fergusson spoke out about the industry’s misuse of the word “beta”, claiming that people expect a beta to be a finely-tuned demo. He said they even joked about calling it an alpha to discourage this kind of thinking, which is actually worrisome in one respect.
“The industry has taken the word beta and twisted it to mean ‘pre-release demo.’ 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.”
On the one hand, it is absolutely fine that the Gears of War 4 beta isn’t polished. What is a problem is that it’s six months from release and is mired by a number of issues that we talked about in our preview for the game. If this build is close to the build that The Coalition is currently playing and this is their beta stage, I may start to get very weary about Gears of War 4.