Greetings! With the release of Beta 1 starting to get closer (August) to all those who pre-order the game, we're starting to put together a tentative schedule.
Those of you who have been through other Stardock betas know how these things go. Below is what you can expect:
August. Beta 1. This will not be a "fun" beta. It's a stress test of the engine. Those of you who were in the Sins of a Solar Empire beta or the GalCiv betas know we're not kidding. There will be very little balancing in this version. It will also be multiplayer-only at this stage.
October. Beta 2. This beta won't be that fun either but it'll be better than Beta 1. THIS is the key beta in which players give us their ideas and suggestions. The beta process isn't just to find bugs but to let players suggestion changes to the game. There will be a series of Betas 2 (2A, 2B, 2C, etc.) that will be released in which we begin incorporating player suggestions. These will happen quite rapidly thanks to Impulse.
December. Beta 3. This may or may not be a public beta depending on how things go. What we have done in the past is give players who have been particularly helpful access to late betas so that we can keep tweaking and enhancing with their feedback.
January. Gammas (release candidates).
February. Tentative release date at worldwide retail in multiple languages.
We do plan for the game to be available at stores roughly the same time in North America, Europe, Russia, and Australia/NZ at the very least.
Users who are part of the beta will be getting something special but I am not at liberty to talk about it yet.