What’s in a Word?

In an announcement that was drowned out by the screams of thousands of privacy advocates across the world, Bioware recently opened up “Game Testing” on Star Wars: The Old Republic.

“Game Testing for Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ is underway! Those selected to test will gain access to the game and be able to provide valuable feedback to help us tune particular areas of gameplay and begin the process of balancing and tweaking our content.

Game Testing is an on-going process being rolled out in several phases. These phases began with smaller, more focused tests with community members from North America, and later will expand to other territories. Users selected for the test program will be notified via email with more information on accessing the Game Testing Portal. If you’ve not been chosen yet, you may be selected in the next wave!

If you haven’t signed up already, it’s definitely not too late! If you’re not already a member of the Star Wars: The Old Republic community, click here to become one today! Be sure to check the box to indicate you are interested in becoming a tester. If you’re already a member, go to the Game Testing Portal to begin the sign up process. Note that you must be at least 18 years of age to accept the Game Tester Agreement.

Please keep in mind that there are no guarantees that you will be selected once you have completed the sign-up process. For more information about testing Star Wars: The Old Republic, take time to read the Game Testing FAQ.”

You know what I find a little interesting about this?  Not the fact that testing has begun, but that a certain word is missing in this annoucement.  It’s a little word.  A nasty four letter word that other developers of MMORPG’s throw out there to remind the general gaming public that “By the way.  Please keep in mind that the game that you see right now isn’t necessarily what you’ll end up with after testing.  We have a buttload of bugs to work out and we have a miracle patch in the works to “fix” anything wrong right before we release it.  *wink*”

What is that elusive word?   That word is “Beta.”

Unless I’m mistaken, according to Bioware, it’s not “Beta Testing.”  It’s “Game Testing.”  In fact, I’m going through some of the more recent developer posts (just a quick perusal mind you) and I’m having a hard time finding the word “Beta” being used at all.

Anyone else think that this is a conscious effort on Bioware’s part?  Are they trying to set a tone with their choice of words or am I reading too much into this?

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