What’s the difference between a demo and a beta?
Some people confuse a beta and a demo and at times think they are both the same. It’s understandable to think that way, because nowadays many times gamers will see a playable beta, but will never see a demo for the game. It’s a great way to try the game before you decide to buy it.
A demo, such as a Call of Duty demo, is a short segment of the retail product. A demo has very limited content and features compared to the full retail version, but compared to a beta, the amount of content is about the same. A demo should not contain any bugs or glitches and should be problematic free as it is intended to be a small reflection of the full version. A demo can be released prior to the retail version, just like a beta, and some times a demo is released after the product’s official release date. A demo is to help the customer decide on purchasing the game, where as a beta is to help the developers test the game prior to an official release.
A Beta is an incomplete version of the retail game. The available content is limited just as it is in a demo. Beta versions are likely to contain bugs and glitches which need to be fixed. A “Closed Beta” is when a small group of select individuals have been given a playable copy of the unreleased game. Closed betas prevent the game from being leaked to the public and any issues that arise are kept behind closed doors. “Public Betas” are released to the public so anyone can download the beta and play the game. The purpose of the beta is to get people to test the game for any bugs or issues prior to the game being released. Most betas are released to the public as a great way to stress test servers and to test how the game runs on a wide variety of PC’s. Some may also see the beta as a marketing tool. A convenient way to release part of a video game to the public to create some hype or buzz about the game before its release. When the full version of the game its retail, the beta version has long since been closed and is no longer playable.