Beta backers for Wasteland 2 have been touring the early access opening half of the game since December. At this point, they're grizzled, bearded veterans, well versed in a dangerous and deadly landscape. In response, InXile are opening the doors to fresh meat: anyone who pledged for a digital copy of the game will soon have access to this early preview build.
Brian Fargo explained the decision in a backer update , saying, "we felt like this is the right time to expand Wasteland 2 beta access to all backers at any tier who are eligible for a copy of the game."
"Note that keys will not be available to everyone simultaneously," he said, "if you instead find a "available soon" text this is not an error, it will be available as soon as possible. Upon Wasteland 2's release at the end of August, this beta version will turn into a final retail copy of the game."
There's a caveat to this release, though. Wasteland 2 backers are offered a choice between Steam and GOG copies of the game, depending on their preference of service and/or DRM existence. As Fargo notes in the update, the beta release is Steam only, and counts as a redemption of the game. "If you're due only one digital copy from your backer tier and claim this key on your account, that will be the only key you'll get from us, you won't be able to later switch to GOG.com or other digital retailers."
The beta is a big ol' chunk of the game, containing the entirety of the full release's Arizona section. Still missing is the second half, set in LA—a much greener segment of the game, and one filled with a selection of crazed cultists.
Wasteland 2 is due out in its final form this August.