If you’re pretty damn certain that you’ll end up buying Arma 3, then you may wish to get in on an early, cheaper offer to buy the game in advance and hop into the alpha testing. Bohemia Interactive will be releasing the Arma 3 alpha on Steam next week (5 March,) and anybody who purchases either the Alpha Edition (£20 GBP) or Digital Deluxe Edition (£35 GBP) will get access.
The former will get you alpha and beta (when that launches in Q2 2013) access, along with a digital copy of the full game when it releases towards the end of 2013. It’s the same story for the latter, but in addition you’ll get some digital extras (soundtrack, maps and the like.)
Bohemia’s own store will (at some stage, it’s not there yet) start selling a Supporter Edition of the game priced at £60 GBP. That one has all the stuff from the Digital Deluxe release, plus “a Steam Gift of Arma X, all future Arma 3 DLCs, a special forums medal and the opportunity to have their names featured in the game’s credits.”
And on top of that (christ, pre-ordering is really out of hand,) there’ll be an Alpha Lite release on Steam as well. This one will be free to mess about in, but will lack any multiplayer or mod support. It’ll also be released on 14 March, a week after the initial alpha.
That’s all pretty confusing, but here’s the summary: Arma 3’s alpha will be on Steam from 5 March. You can buy in to it at various levels, if you so desire (or try a reduced version for free if you wait a week.)
For more, have a read of thison the game’s official site.