APB Beta Application A Little Nosey

Illustration for article titled APB Beta Application A Little Nosey

Realtime Worlds is looking for beta testers for their upcoming MMO APB, and you could be one of the few, once you finish filling out one of the more intrusive beta applications we've seen.

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The application actually seems like it's part beta tester app, part demographic survey. Along with the normal questions like processor type and testing experience, Realtime is asking for your marital status, number of children per household, and income level, which to me doesn't seem to have a great deal of impact on whether or not you can beta test. Most of it isn't optional, either. You have to select an income range - there is no "No comment" option. The company does at least assure applicants that their information is safe.

The form below is fairly detailed: we'd greatly appreciate you giving us the information requested so that we can understand the kind of player who is interested in APB and collect details on your hardware and beta testing experience. Your information is safe with us: we won't sell or distribute it in any way.

Perhaps I am overreacting, but this isn't the type of information I feel I have to share in order to participate in a beta test. I'll gladly fill out a politely requested survey once my beta application is filled out, but I'd rather it be a bit more voluntary.

My qualms aside, Realtime is actively seeking players, and the application page is encouraging.

Selected testers will receive an invitation by email along with details of how to download the game and take part. If you don't hear back from us in the next few months, don't despair, we'll be selecting more people right through to launch and we will need bigger numbers of testers as time goes on. Even if you're not selected for the start of the program you may get an invitation later.

If you feel like sharing, head over to the APB beta application page and check some boxes.

APB Beta Signups [Blue's News]

DISCUSSION

hypernetic-old
Hypernetic

Your inability to reason never fails to amuse me, Kotaku.

Have you considered that, perhaps, technical issues aren't the only things being tested in a beta? With MMOs especially, it is VERY important to know if your game appeals to certain demographics.

Almost every MMO beta I've been a part of has had some kind of survey during the beta or afterward that asked similar questions and also for my opinions on certain aspects of the game.

MMOs are bar-none the most expensive and time consuming types of games to create, you can't leave anything to chance. If you find out during the beta that your target (or several of your target) demos don't enjoy parts of the game, there is still time to change them. And while MMO developers can (and do) make drastic changes to games post-release, it's the initial impression that matters most. Once your target audience abandons the game or considers it unappealing, it's over.

It's really no different from a beta app asking if you are a hardcore gamer and what previous beta experience you have. RTW is just doing their homework, and with the list of MMO flops growing exponentially each year, we should be glad.