Ready or Not Alpha Testing dev post cover

Latest News

Devs Explain Why Ready or Not Alpha Testing is Gated Behind $120 Supporter Edition

January 18, 2022

By: Robert N. Adams

 
 
More Info About This Game
Developer
VOID Interactive
Publisher
VOID Interactive
Platforms
PC
Release Date
December 17,2021 (Calendar)
Purchase (Some links may be affiliated)

VOID Interactive has released a statement explaining why Ready or Not alpha testing is restricted to players who purchased the $120 Supporter Edition.

Ready or Not is a new tactical shooter that effectively serves as a spiritual successor to Sierra's FPS SWAT games. First released late last year, the game already had its first major update and its first controversy. Now, the developers are responding to complaints about the way it handles access to its alpha testing branch.

 

Ready or Not Alpha Testing dev post slice

Why Ready or Not Alpha Testing is Restricted to Supporter Edition

Currently, anyone can purchase Ready or Not for $39.99 and play the game on Steam Early Access. However, there's a second tier called the "Alpha Testing Branch" -- and this is only available to players who have dropped $119.99 on the "Supporter Edition."

 
 

The Alpha Testing Branch gives gamers who purchased the Supporter Edition an advance look at upcoming content, typically 1-2 weeks before it arrives in the wider Steam Early Access release. Understandably, not everyone is happy about this and Void Interactive took the time to address the issue.

"As a new video game developer, we have managed to survive and bring Ready or Not to life thanks to our Supporters," Void Interactive said in a Steam Community news post (via Reddit). "Not only was their financial commitment a critical lifeline for us, the feedback and criticism they provided throughout the game's Alpha has also helped shape the game into a better product. Currently, we wish to continue to test content in a [Supporter-only] Alpha branch prior to launching for all players, giving us the opportunity to correct as many errors as possible. In addition to showing Supporters our appreciation for believing in and backing Ready or Not, this allows our limited staff to more easily receive, evaluate, and assimilate feedback into the game."

 
 

The reasoning is twofold: it gives people who purchased the Supporter Edition a perk and it keeps the pool of players in the Ready or Not alpha testing branch at a manageable level. Void Interactive also cited two specific real-world examples of issues in the testing branch.

"For instance, we are currently testing foreign language localization and have discovered several omissions or errors caused by software glitches. As another example, we discovered a bug that merged every player currently playing the game into one voice channel together."

Games restricting alpha access to purchases of premium editions is nothing new. Many crowdfunding campaigns, for example, offer Beta access and/or Alpha access to backers who purchase (or pledge) the more expensive editions of a game. Many AAA games typically have "marketing Betas" that are less about actual testing and more about giving players a head start of a few days.

However, the Ready or Not alpha testing situation is a little different -- I can't recall a single game that uses this model for a product that's already out on the market, even in an Early Access release. Live games that do have a separate testing branch tend to either restrict those to a limited pool of hand-selected players (and developers, natch) or make them available to everyone via a separate, public testing branch or test server. For example, Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord and Valheim are two popular Steam Early Access games which make public test branches available to players.

 
 

Regardless of how you may feel, Void Interactive has made its case for granting access to the Ready or Not Alpha Testing Branch to the smaller pool of players who have purchased the pricey Supporter Edition. You can play the game yourself right now by buying Ready or Not for PC via Steam starting at $39.99 or your regional equivalent.

What do you think of the situation with Ready or Not alpha testing? Do you think developers should restrict testing access to customers who buy more expensive editions of the game? Let us know in the comments below!