Valve first introduced Playtest as a beta last November, attracting over 1 million players across 161 games. The feature is now available for all developers on Steam, making it easier to run playtests with the help of the community.
The launch of Playtest was announced yesterday on Steam’s official website. The main update is the ability to grant access to a playtest for players in specific countries/regions. On top of that, developers can now fully use all features of this tool:
- Developers can control the testing time and how many players get access, as well as add new users;
- Playtest is delivered via a separate appID, so it won’t interfere with the main game’s wishlists, reviews, and other metrics;
- Developers don’t need to send keys via emails or other services. Playtest works directly through Steamworks, and players can request access right on the title’s Steam page;
- Developers can host events and make announcements for their Playtest games only through a special community hub. For example, you can invite testers to join the game at a particular time, so you can stress-test servers.
“We hope this new set of tools helps developers get closer to their players and make better games as a result,” Steam’s statement reads. Valve notes that it wanted to solve numerous problems, including offering a demo or shipping a game to a specific audience, by providing an official solution.