Only a few days into the previously “pre-order exclusive” beta on PS4, Treyarch and Activision open Black Ops to all.
When Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 was announced this spring, Activision sweetened pre-order incentives by toting exclusive access to a beta this summer. Because the past two installments in the franchise suffered less-than-usual sales figures, Activision saw this as a great way to boost player interest (and pre-order numbers). But after yesterday’s decision to make the beta public on PS4, Activison and Treyarch are actively spitting in their paying customers’ faces by allowing anyone to try the game. The move has been met with both praise and criticism by the PS4 community, but one thing is for certain: this was not a great way to show respect to loyal fans who shelled out money for what they thought to be exclusive access.
When David Vonderhaar, the Studio Design Director at Treyarch, was asked via Twitter if the beta would be open to all Xbox gamers from the get-go later this week, Vonderhaar dodged the question and said, “Business stuff happens above my paygrade. I just make video games and put them on the Internet.” This certainly didn’t address the fan’s question in any direct manner, but it did offer a bit of insight. This September, Activision’s 5-year partnership with Xbox is coming to a close. From there and into the foreseeable future, PlayStation will be picking up a similar deal that allows PS4 and PS3 gamers early access to DLC. In addition to early access, the deal also includes marketing rights. This could mean that Activision could feel obliged to open the beta up on PlayStation because of the deal but keep in closed next week on Xbox and PC.
The Black Ops 3 beta is live now on PS4. Starting Wednesday the 26th, Xbox and PC players who have pre-ordered the game will be able to join the beta. As noted above, it remains unclear if the beta will open later in the week to those who haven’t pre-ordered. The full game is set to launch on November 6th, 2015.
What do you think about the Black Ops 3 beta going public? Do you think it was a wise move that will garner more interest from gamers, or is it an insult to those who paid hard cash expect exclusive access? Feel free to let me know in the comments or on Twitter!