Paradox Interactive launched a new publishing label called Paradox Arc (opens in new tab) earlier this month, and now it's asking for people to sign up for its first beta testing, which is "in the very near future." There's just one catch: You don't get to know what the game is.
"We will be running a beta test in the very near future and need people to help us!" the signup form states. "We cannot give the name of the game at the moment until an agreement and NDA has been signed.
"The purpose of this particular beta test, however, is to stress test the online capabilities of the game and to gather player feedback on this test. The beta test is limited and will run for only one week starting on September 5th, 2022."
We know that the test isn't going to involve one of Paradox's major games (or at least, we can be reasonably confident about it): Paradox Arc was billed as a kind of indie-focused publishing label when it was announced, with a focus on "deep, endless, and replayable games from smaller development teams." The first game released under the publishing label is Across the Obelisk (opens in new tab), a "coop RPG deckbuilding roguelite" that launched into early access on Steam last year and went into full release earlier this month. (Paradox Arc has been tweeting about Across the Obelisk almost exclusively over the past week, which made me think that it was the game being tested, until I realized that it's already launched.)
There are a few rules if you want to take part in whatever this is: You need to be at least 18 years of age, you need to have a Discord account, and you have to sign up by September 1. Once you've filled out the initial form, a second form containing your legal agreement and NDA will be sent to you via email; submit that, and on September 5 a final email with instructions on how to access the game and Discord server will be sent.
Want to be involved in a Beta Test with us? We have limited spaces. We can't say more until NDAs have been signed, but you can sign up here: https://t.co/bCyVJQtvyOBe sure to read instructions about the process and complete the first form before 10am CEST on Sept 1st! pic.twitter.com/8lVfGLrxlsAugust 29, 2022
It seems like Paradox Arc is going to a lot of trouble to keep this one a secret, but I've reached out to Paradox for more information anyway and will update if I receive a reply. Do note, if you sign up to take part, that Paradox will likely be taking the NDA seriously: The signup form says that verification for the Discord server will be via "a unique single-use code" for each user.