ARMA 3 Alpha Announced
ARMA 3, the only FPS ever charged with international espionage, emerges from its Greek gulag in Alpha form.
Bohemia Interactive, the developers behind the upcoming DAYZ and the distinctly non-zombie ARMA 2, announced earlier today that their hardcore military simulator ARMA 3 has gone into the alpha development stage. The developer is openly recruiting testers for the game, starting March 5, 2013.
No, this is literally the first alpha version. The ARMA 3 Alpha Hub lists the game as version 0.0. It’s their first playable version of the game. Bohemia is also charging an overly complicated tiered pricing structure for early access. Purchasing an Alpha of any stripe gets you Beta access and the actual game itself. Prices start at €24.99 ($32.66 American).
You can also get “Alpha Lite”, which is a free, limited version of the game, but you need an invite from someone who purchases the “Supporter Edition” (aka “Daddy Warbucks” version) at a wallet-busting €69.99 ($91.46 American). Ouch.
This is a odd situation. We’re being asked to basically pre-order a game AND bugtest it for them while it’s still in early development. This is actually a smart move on the surface, but a tad tricky when you dig deeper. Should a developer essentially be crowdsourcing its testing to the public and still ask for the full price? On the flipside, they could get valuable, first-hand feedback from their constituency, like fixing the atrocious UI and buggy, buggy bugfest like their last effort, ARMA 2.
ARMA 2 was a 2009 modest hit, but generally forgotten until it was bolstered to the Steam bestsellers last year by the spectacular DAYZ mod (which is currently developing its own standalone version). Bohemia is riding on the goodwill of its new zombie fanbase meeting its hardcore players in the middle, and the alpha is going to have to shine all the brighter.
Find out more at ARMA 3 Alpha here.