It looks like Steam is in the process of adding a new Playtest function, designed to rework the way in which players are afforded early access to unreleased games.
The news comes from xPaw, who is renowned for having created SteamDB (Steam Database). Anyway, xPaw took to Twitter in order to share his find – you can check it out below.
Valve shipped play tests on the Steam Store. Anyone can request access to the play test.
— xPaw (@thexpaw) July 24, 2020
“Valve shipped play tests on the Steam Store,” wrote xPaw. “Anyone can request access to the play test.”
This new Playtest function has likely been designed to replace the now relatively outdated beta key chaos that often ends in metaphorical tears. As opposed to having to request a key, which may or may not work, and may or may not be revoked, and may or may not be illegally sold, now players can simply request access to games. And, if the devs think, sure, you can have a go, they’ll probably accept said request,
According to a follow-up tweet from xPaw, Valve spent five years working on this Playtest feature. It’s not perfect though – xPaw actually went on to post yet another tweet noting that there were HTML tags missing on the page he discovered the “Request Access” button on, and, as a result, the page broke whenever you tried to proceed past it.
In related news, Persona 4 Golden recently launched on Steam and has already amassed over 500,000 players. In fact, it’s managed to become the most concurrently-played non-MMO JRPG in Steam history – which is good news for Persona fans who are hoping that other games from the series will be ported to PC in future.
It’s not necessarily surprising though – fans have wanted a Persona 4 Golden PC port for years, namely so that modders can tinker with it in order to rework specific parts. For example, one modder is currently working to reinstate the cut Yosuke romance option as a mod, much to the delight of Persona 4 fans all over the world.