Developer Treyarch surprised gamers a couple months ago when it announced that they would be holding a closed beta for their upcoming shooter, Call of Duty: Black Ops 3. At the time, the developer declined to provide any specific dates for when the beta would take place, though many gamers, ourselves included, speculated that the Black Ops 3 beta would happen sometime in August.
Those speculations have now been confirmed: the Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 beta will be taking place in two phases in August. The first phase will be exclusively for PlayStation 4 players, whose beta will run August 19-23, and then the PC and Xbox One beta will happen the following week from August 26-30. The beta will not be available on PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360, though the game is expected to release on both last-gen consoles in November. According to Treyarch, the Black Ops 3 beta will give the studio an opportunity to test the new “momentum-based, chained movement” system and multiplayer maps, among other features.
The move toward holding a beta for Black Ops 3 is likely due, in part, to Call of Duty’s decreasing sales numbers over the last few years. Sure, the franchise continues to top charts, but when compared to previous releases within the series, the past couple years have seriously struggled.
In fact, many gamers were surprised that Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare struggled so much last year, when many were expecting it to outdo its predecessor, Call of Duty: Ghosts, by a large margin. Not only was that not the case, but Advanced Warfare actually sold 27 percent fewer copies than Ghosts.
So it makes sense that Treyarch and publisher Activision would provide a beta for Black Ops 3 to help build greater hype for the upcoming title. In fact, in order for gamers to gain access to the beta, they’ll need to pre-order the game via their local or online retailer.
Even those gamers who pay the minimum pre-order cost at retailers like GameStop (which only requires $5 down payment to establish a preorder and obtain a beta code) may discover during the beta that they love the game and want to purchase it upon release, which is Activision’s inevitable goal. However, if the beta doesn’t generate enough buzz, it could hurt the game’s sales this fall.
Despite the potential challenges, it seems like holding a closed beta for Black Ops 3 may be an important move for the developer, who’s up against some big competition this holiday season, with Halo 5 and Star Wars Battlefront both releasing around the time Black Ops 3 launches.
Are you planning to participate in the Black Ops 3 beta in August? Let us know in the comments.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 is set to release on November 6, 2015 for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.