"So when is AirMech going to exit Beta?"
We've had a lot of confusion lately about when AirMech will be released since we have been in Open Beta since late last year. We don't have a firm date, but we are aiming for Spring 2013, which may even be the very last day of Spring! There's a lot of stuff we are adding to the game and some major systems changing, and we're not comfortable removing the Beta label before that.
"But you're charging for the game! That means you are released!"
True, we do allow people to spend money, and because we don't wipe progress or accounts we feel comfortable with that. Value is always higher for the players who put money in early, and we really appreciate that support.
"But it says you are released on Steam!"
We have no direct control over how that label appears. We had to make a choice to make the game open to everyone, or keep it as a "pay to get access" beta. Being a F2P game, we wanted to let players play the game, and the only way we could really go Open Beta on Steam was to change to release. This is just a label however--Valve is not our publisher. I hope this post settles it finally, because we are both the developer and publisher, we list the status of the game as Open Beta. Every single screen of the game is labeled as such, and anyone who plays the game must know this. To quote some text that does not come from the publisher or developer directly is not responsible reporting of information.
"But I saw a review of AirMech!"
Any site that has contacted us we have explained to them that the game is beta, and we would like any articles on AirMech to be either labeled as "AirMech Preview" or "AirMech Beta Review". This has not however stopped some sites from reviewing the beta version of the game, and in some cases cropping images to remove the Beta watermark. I'm not sure what else we can do, because I really don't like to see reviews pop up that are different from what the final game will be. Maybe the reviews will be better now, it's hard to say. All I know is that there are significant changes coming to the game, as well as a lot of additional content. A review of AirMech you read today does not mean it will be accurate of the non-Beta version of AirMech.
I'm going to list some more information here that has been misreported for clarification:
- AirMech Open Beta Chrome - Feb 15th 2012
- AirMech Open Beta PC - August 15th 2012
- AirMech Open Beta Steam (PC version only) - November 8th 2012
- AirMech OUYA - Launch window 2013
- AirMech Android - TBD 2013
- AirMech iOS - TBD 2013
Our transition from Open Beta to release will be after the next round of major changes to the game which we will introduce and test in the coming months. When we are satisfied that the new direction is our "final" target, we will remove the Beta label, and transition into content expansion mode.
Please help us by emailing editors and correcting misinformation wherever you find it, if that is press, forums, wikis, etc. The only way we can get accurate information out there is with your support, and we really appreciate it.
This again raises the question about wipes or resets when we exit Beta. There will not be a wipe or reset! Ask any of our players from way back in Alpha, they still have their stuff. Because of the type of game AirMech is where everything is a side-grade instead of upgrade, there's no advantage you gain from being a longtime player--except for skill and experience. Try as we may we have not discovered how to remote wipe people's brains, so we just gave up and let them keep their frontal lobes. Early players have been so valuable to us, I can't imagine why we would take away what they have unlocked and helped us test. Personally I don't like playing Betas of most games for that exact reason, which is another reason why we don't want to do that. So I know it's not normal procedure, but there will be no wipes or resets at the end of Beta. We would much rather reward our early players than punish them, especially when it doesn't give them any power advantage.