Valve Unveils New Streamlined Steam Playtest
Great news for players who enjoy trial-playing new title releases on Steam is that Valve is now adding a feature to the platform that will invite gamers to test new games directly from the Steam client – meaning no more need for a beta key to first be issued across a separate platform or client. Steam Playtest will allow those interested in testing new content to gain access by joining a queue by way of a listing on the Steam store itself.
Playtests already currently underway on Steam include trial-tests for Total War: Elysium, Prodeus, and Iron Conflict. And best of all is that all three titles are still currently accepting requestors to be permitted access. This means that all interested parties can now apply to join the testing phase.
Better For Tester And Developer
From a developer’s point of view, the new model of implementation will create an opportunity for them to live-track the number of people interested in trying a new game pre-release. Not only will developers gain access to figures relating to how many persons are waiting for access – indicating, among other things, the general preliminary interest in a new game or title – but also how many gamers have been manually invited by the client platform to participate in a test.
Developers themselves will also be able to add more testers from the landing page of the Playtest status screen. Once developers are satisfied that a particular test has run its course, i.e. achieved whatever it was supposed to achieve within the context of the game and the testing procedure, they will be able to instantly pull the game from the listing by deactivating the button used to request access. At this stage of the proceedings, the game will instantly be pulled from all player-libraries also.
The new approach is expected to streamline the entire process of test and pre-launch, as well as make the access-request procedure a whole lot more accessible.
Steam Early Access Remains
Valve has however stressed that Playtests aren’t intended to completely replace what players have come to know as Steam Early Access. Games will instead have a Playtest running alongside their Early Access versions.
Playtests will furthermore not be enabled for any form of trade or commerce from a monetization point of view. Also, according to a recent announcement by Steam, Playtests are currently still in beta. What this means is that the Playtest setup itself is subject to undergo some changes before the final product is launched.