Who wants to talk about The Elder Scrolls Online?
Because you can't
, even if you're in the group of new beta testers
. At least, you can't talk about the game itself. People have taken the time to talk extensively regarding the game launching with a subscription model and whether
that's a good thing. The actual game mechanics will have to remain under wraps. If you'd like to discuss it down in the comments... please don't. NDA.
Fortunately, there are several games just past the break that are not
under NDA. Some of them are even in open testing, so you can just sign up and go. Won't that be fun? As always, you can let us know down in the comments whether something surreptitiously entered a de facto launch state by adding a functional cash shop despite officially being in testing. Those sneaky cash shops really get in if you don't have proper sealing.
Massively considers a game to be in open testing
if it has open, public signups and plans for a server wipe before its official launch. Self-described "open beta" MMOs that have soft-launched with functioning real-money cash shops will not be listed.
Blood and Jade
(Project Gorgon): Signup
(Ignited Games): Announcement
(beta until 1/13/14)
(Kis Studios): Announcement
(early access on Steam now
We consider an MMO to be in closed testing
if it features either future test signups or an ongoing semi-private beta/alpha that cannot immediately and freely be accessed by the general public. Some are restricted by NDAs. This still qualifies even if the test does feature an active cash shop so long as the signups are restricted; it also qualifies if the testing is limited to purchasers.
(Aeria Games): Announcement
(Bohemia Interactive): Announcement
(access is for early purchasers on Steam)
Earthrise: First Impact
, Early Access Purchase
End of Nations
(Blizzard Entertainment): Announcement
(open beta coming in 2014)
League of Angels
LEGO Minifigures Online
(launching summer 2014)
(Aeria Games): Announcement
Line of Defense
Origins of Malu
(Burning Dog): Announcement
(development in limbo, possibly canceled)
(Project Whitecard): Announcement
(fka Astronaut: Moon, Mars, and Beyond)
(S2 Games): Announcement
The Elder Scrolls Online
(Above and Beyond): Announcement
(Nerd Kingdom): Announcement
(fka Orgia Romanus; adult MMO, possibly NSFW)
Over the past several years, the line between "beta" and "release" has gotten shakier and shakier. There are soft launches, games that are officially in beta but have released in all practicality, and games that are in alpha testing but require you to purchase them to play. The point is that it's a little ambiguous. And we sift through them, try to pick out what is and isn't in testing, and call it as we see it, which is all well and good, but it also means that sometimes our logic might seem a little impenetrable.
So we're adding something to Betawatch starting this week. This "testing notes" section will allow us to explain the philosophy behind why we cover one game or another, why we kick games off of the beta list when they still claim to be in testing, why we list a pre-purchase game with a functioning cash shop as a closed testing game, and how we draw those line.
Tune in next week for an elaborate discussion on why open betas with functional cash shops are launched games but pre-purchase games aren't.
Betawatch is Massively's weekly report on the latest MMO alphas, betas, and other games still meandering toward an official launch. From ArcheAge to World of Warplanes, it's covered here, complete with sign-up links so that you too can perform the unpaid quality-control work otherwise known as game testing. Drop us a comment if we've missed one, and many thanks to Steven Eyerman for the Subreddit links!