DICE launched the Battlefield 3 beta to make sure that it wouldn't crash and burn at launch -- they don't want a repeat of Battlefield 1942's launch.
Battlefield 3 producer Patrick Liu told the Guardian in a recent interview that there must be some kind of misunderstanding with the term "beta test."
As a tester, sometimes it's easy to forget that these betas -- closed or open -- aren't full-fledged demos even though they look polished and fully complete at first glance. Even Blizzard's Diablo 3 looks and feels like a full-fledged demo, but it's not. Yet on the other hand, many demos pushed out on the PC feel more like beta tests because of annoying technical issues across the board. So, in a sense, gamers have a good reason to mesh the terms beta and demo together. Heck, there are complete games on the market that have initially acted more like unstable alphas and betas.
But that's not the case here. Based on Liu's comments, gamers were looking for a conquest map to play in the Battlefield 3 beta. "I think there's been a misunderstanding of the term 'beta test,'" Liu said. "We ran the alpha tests with a rush map and we wanted to have some sort of reference so we could compare results – so we needed to have more-or-less the same map. But we do understand the concerns that we didn't show a conquest map, but we have demoed Caspian Border, and we did run a conquest map as a limited PC-only test."
"[The beta] has taught us a lot," Liu added. "Our primary intentions have been to test the backend... In previous games, like Bad Company and 1943, we've had serious problems with the backend, it's just been overloaded - this time it hasn't been a problem. We just wanted to know it wouldn't crash and burn at launch. It was horrible with Battlefield 1943 – it sold ten times the numbers we thought it would, and it was down for three or four days which is really bad. We don't want to go through that again."
Battlefield 3 launches on October 25 in the U.S. and October 28 in the UK for PS3, 360 and PC.