Last Friday, it was announced that the Epic Edition of Bulletstorm would include access to the beta for Gears of War 3. Since that announcement, Epic Games' co-founder and president Mike Capp has clarified some details regarding the beta, in an interview with Gamespot.
When asked about the start date for the beta, Capp replied:
We've been saying spring. My guess is it will be sometime around April or so. It's going to be early enough so it really impacts Gears [of War 3's] development, but we want to make sure everyone has the chance to play Bulletstorm before they jump right into the beta.April was originally going to be the release date for Gears of War 3 before it was delayed to Autumn 2011. When asked why the game was delayed, he replied:
Well the thing I liked about April is that's when Gears fans expected to play Gears 3. This way, they can still do that. Microsoft approached us about moving the game back to September. Now normally you hear stories about evil publishers trying to convince the developer to ship it early. Whenever we'd have date conversations, we'd say, "Oh the game has got to be good; it's got to be done when we ship it!" That part of the industry, for us, is now completely gone. Now we say, "If we can do this in September, October, November, we can do something amazing like Halo: Reach." That had huge promotion that got a lot of people behind it and got huge attention at retail. So a couple extra months was fine by us - it'll just make the game better. They thought it would be better for them, so we played along.This is the first game in the Gears of War franchise to receive a beta. However, Epic have released beta versions of Unreal Tournament and Unreal Championship 2. Why did they decide to do a beta for Gears of War 3?
It's actually a lot of work to do a beta on consoles, because you still have to go through all of the certification process, so it adds a lot of time to the schedule. To take what you have, chop off a bunch of it, and cert it - it adds a month or more to your schedule. Generally, we've not seen that as a good trade-off. But at this point, with those extra couple months it gave us the ability to do it.Finally, Capp was asked about the availability of the Epic Edition of Bulletstorm:
Also, I think everybody knows we had some multiplayer stability issues with Gears 2 multiplayer out of the box. While we fixed those later, the opportunity to be really, really sure that our new dedicated server infrastructure is going to be operational on day one with Gears 3 was totally worth the time to make the beta.
This really is a limited edition. Like Gears of War 2's limited edition, it will be gone in the first week or so. The surest way to get time in the beta is to preorder it. We won't have pallets of these sitting around months later. We want it to be limited as a sort of present to our hardcore fans.Gears of War 3 is currently due for release in Autumn 2011. Bulletstorm will be released on February 22nd, 2011 in North America and February 25th in Europe.
Since it's [Epic Edition] the same price [as the regular edition], it's our intention to fulfill all preorders which have already gone in with Epic Editions. We should double-check and make sure. We just put this plan together a week ago, so we have to check with the retail guys and make sure.