Valve’s Steam platform has given both developers and players plenty of options when it comes to games. Huge releases and Early Access launches have allowed for a new age of video games to arrive on the platform, but now Steam is apparently making moves to make things even easier for devs to engage with their community directly. In particular, running beta tests for games will be more straightforward now. Instead of sending out individual keys to every player, a new Steam option might just take care of the hassle, as reported by PCGamer.
All in one place
As shared by Steam Database creator Pavel “xPaw” Djundik, it would appear that Valve has made it possible to integrate beta test signups on Steam itself. Sharing the example of Creative Assembly’s Total War: Elysium, which is currently in closed beta testing, an option to request access to a playtest can be found on the game’s page. Clicking the button will allow players to request access, pending the developers’ permission. An email notification would be sent to those who have been accepted. Easy, fuss-free, and something that feels like it should have been there in Steam in the first place.
Valve shipped play tests on the Steam Store. Anyone can request access to the play test.
— xPaw (@thexpaw) July 24, 2020
Of course, opening up beta signups like this may result in the floodgates opening. The added convenience will certainly result in developers having to deal with another issue altogether. However, the integration is certainly something that feels more intuitive than going through hoops to gain access. Just be ready to wait and be potentially disappointed in case you do not get an invite. Case in point, Total War: Elysium is not accepting any more testers at the moment, even if the option is there in Steam.
While this feature is certainly going to impact developers more than consumers, it is another option to reach out to different players in different regions. Rather than rely on beta signups through an external site, you can do everything on Steam. Keeping everyone in the ecosystem is a great way to ensure you get the right people and the right attention.