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Steam is adding support for built-in beta testing

(Image credit: Valve)

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.

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:

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, like the Interactive Recommender, Play Next, and News Hub. 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. 

Andy covers the day-to-day happenings in the big, wide world of PC gaming—the stuff we call "news." In his off hours, he wishes he had time to play the 80-hour RPGs and immersive sims he used to love so much.