Last week Xbox One and PC players finally got the chance to get their hands on Titanfall, the first big online shooter of the new console generation, as part of an open beta trial. We've become used to these early taster sessions - in many ways they feel a little like demo versions of multiplayer games - but they also serve an important purpose for the developers.
Behind the scenes, a beta trial is used to test the code and online functions with a live audience. The bigger the audience, the more robust the game needs to be in order to hold together. Thankfully, in the case of Titanfall, the game more than stood up to the onslaught, as almost two million unique players jumped at the chance to try the game early.
"We went into this knowing, here are potential things that might be broken," Jon Shiring, the game's online engineer, told Polygon as the beta came to an end. "A lot of it is to look and see what people are doing and complaining about, to see which of those hunches were right. We're not completely ignorant of what might be a problem in the game, but we don't want to nerf everything just in case."
With the game due for release in just a few weeks, the race is now on at Titanfall developer Respawn to take what they learned from the beta and use it to refine and polish the experience. "We're still looking for tweaks to certain weapons or other things," community manager Abbie Heppe told Polygon. "The designers spent a lot of time watching videos and streams of people playing to try and look and see how they were abusing things or not understanding things."
Titanfall is released for Xbox One and PC on March 14th. An Xbox 360 version will follow on March 28th.