Running a beta test on Steam is normally something of a hassle, because developers have to hand out individual Steam keys to each person who wants to take part. But Valve is apparently trying to eliminate that aggravation by adding a new option that enables developers to incorporate testing signups directly into their Steam pages.
Valve shipped play tests on the Steam Store. Anyone can request access to the play test.They also added new app type "beta" in app info.https://t.co/dsDy7ujqGI pic.twitter.com/pTLV8AkzWTJuly 24, 2020
The new feature was revealed by Steam Database creator Pavel "xPaw" Djundik, who tweeted about its presence on the Steam page for Creative Assembly's strategy card game Total War: Elysium, which is now in closed beta testing. Just underneath the "add to your wishlist" option is a button to request access to the playtest: Click it, and it changes to indicate that you've requested access, and to "keep an eye out for an email notification from Steam when the developer is ready to accept more participants."
Unfortunately, it seems that Total War: Elysium doesn't need any more testers at the moment, because I have not received any word about where I stand in the line. Djundik did, though:
And that's the email when you get access to the beta. pic.twitter.com/n0ITi4XYLcJuly 27, 2020
It's interesting that this update arrived so quietly and without fanfare, given how public Valve has been about announcing, testing, and rolling out new features via Steam Labs (opens in new tab), like the Interactive Recommender (opens in new tab), Play Next (opens in new tab), and News Hub (opens in new tab). It's obviously more of a developer-oriented feature than something for end users, but we were bound to notice it sooner or later, right?
Update: Valve has confirmed that this is a new feature that's recently begun testing, and said that more information and a formal rollout will be coming in the future.