Conducting an open beta for an AAA game is not a new practice – it helps publishers gauge the amount of traffic their servers might get hit by on launch day while giving the developers an opportunity to fix the random bugs and glitches that can appear when their games go wild in the open. What is uncommon, however, is being vague about when the open beta starts and ends.
EA announced there would be an open beta for Battlefield 1 in June during E3 2016 in Los Angeles, but they decided not to reveal when the beta begins – despite offering early access to it via the Battlefield Insider program.
They ended up announcing the date finally on 15th of August – Battlefield 1 Open Beta started on 31st August, with the Insiders getting access one day before everybody else. They, however, still stayed mum about when the open beta ends.
Clearing the air
DICE has now finally announced that the Battlefield 1 Open Beta would be ending on 8th September. Although finally having a confirmed date for when the open beta ends is great – ending it on a Thursday is quite an odd decision. Hopefully, EA might just end up extending the open beta until the 11th of September – once the weekend is over.
Stress testing the servers
EA has also decided to conduct a stress test of sorts – starting from the 5th, all of the conquest and rush mode servers will be running without match timers, leaving the fate of either team on the ticket counter hitting 300. DICE has warned that this might result in random disconnects and unexpected downtime during the beta.
Earlier in the week, Origin – EA’s game distribution platform – was also targeted by a massive DDOS attack, bringing the whole service to a halt. EA might be able to mitigate server performance issues by stress testing them during the open beta, but deliberate attacks against their platform might still end up causing issues at launch.