The term "open beta" has kind of been kicked around in the world of free-to-play MMOs, with several games entering open beta and essentially remaining there for eternity. MechWarrior Online
's latest developer blog
leads off by describing this problem, pointing out that terms like "launch" and "beta" don't have the same meaning when applied to a free-to-play game. But the game is still progressing toward open testing and a launched state, and the timeline for both is outlined in the blog.
Starting on August 7th, all Founders will have full access to the closed beta, complete with currency to purchase items. All funds spent on purchasing items during closed beta will be refunded with each major patch and refunded again when the game switches to open beta. If you still haven't quite grabbed the Founder's Package yet, you've still got some time, as the package is being extended past the initial cut-off date of August 7th. For more details on the testing schedule and what's next for the game, look through the full rundown
of the testing phases and the road to launch.