Beta Family: an interesting way to find QA Testers for your games

A few weeks ago when I was searching for QA testers for my latest iPhone game (to be released soon), I stumbled across the site Beta Family. This site is pretty unique in that you can use it to find testers for both iOS (iPhone/iPad) and Android games, with both free and paid options.

If you choose to not reward testers (free option), then you only get access to unrated testers who have not yet performed reviews on this site. To invite experienced testers to test your game, you need to offer then some monetary reward, which is at your discretion. Beta Family takes an additional 10% as a service charge on top of the total amount you pay out to testers. See more details about pricing here.

I was ready to try out this site with the free option, but saw the text “Notice: We do not support paid apps on App Store”, and originally thought that any apps I tested using this site I could not sell on the app store, and had to give away for free. I wasn’t planning to make my app paid, but I didn’t like the idea of being limited in case I wanted to change it in the future.

So I sent an email to customer service to confirm my understanding, and after a day or two of going back and forth several times I was told that this only meant I can’t expect testers to pay for an app on the app store just to test it.

However, by the time I got this issue resolved I already found two beta testers via this blog, and decided I didn’t need this site this time. One of the other reasons for that decision was that for the free option there was the possibility of waiting up to 24 hours for the tester to be “approved” for the game, which just another way to nudge developers to spend some money on testing.

Since I am still at the point where I am just experimenting with mobile game development, and don’t plan on quitting my day job anytime soon, I’m planning on releasing my game for free. Accordingly, I don’t want to fall down the slippery slope of starting to spend to advertise or test my game, since it could become an expensive hobby fast. The feeling I got from Beta Family is that the free testers wouldn’t necessarily give too great of a review.

Having said that, I still think it’s worth giving a try. For iOS there are four distribution options: app store, ad hoc/enterprise, iTunes Connect internal, and iTunes Connect external. The site also boasts over 20,000 testers around the world, though I am not sure if that number actually means much to me. Just getting 5-10 good testers for an inexpensive (or free) price would be enough.

If you do try this site out please leave your experiences in a comment.

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