Shortly after delaying the game by several months, Microsoft and Epic Games announced that Gears of War 3
will receive a multiplayer beta with support for dedicated servers in early 2011.
This will mark the first time Epic has held a public beta testing phase for its Gears of War
series -- executive producer Rod Fergusson said the studio's traditional development schedule made it difficult for Epic to release a beta and have enough time to adapt their games according to player feedback.
With the recent delay of Gears of War 3
from next April to fall 2011 as part of a "business decision between partners", though, the studio now has more time to polish the Xbox 360-exclusive third-person shooter in between the multiplayer beta's release and the final game's launch.
Epic has also been running an informal beta with Gears of War 2
, adjusting weapons to match their counterparts in the upcoming sequel and even running small-scale tests with dedicated servers, according to a report
Another first for the Gears of War
series will be the upcoming game's use of dedicated servers. Gears of War 3
will feature the publisher-run servers for ranked and social matchmaking games, potentially eliminating issues with server hosts receiving an advantage in matches.
Gears of War 2
released for Xbox 360 in November 2008 to enormous success, selling 2 million units in its launch weekend. To date, the franchise as a whole has sold over 11 million units worldwide.