From Freddyshouse, IainC writes:
I just wanted to clear up a few points of confusion about the open beta program in Europe. When the US pre-order program was announced, it was mentioned that the EU program would not include Open Beta access. At that point we hadn’t officially unveiled our program, but as we were getting a lot of enquiries about this, we confirmed that this was the case. Since then, some of you have seen the EA Store in Europe and Direct2Drive advertising the pre-order with Open Beta access.
It’s important to note that our official announcement regarding the Standard Edition pre-order is coming on Thursday 28th which is when the program launches. At that time we will provide you with all the details of the pre-order package as well as a list of partners. Some of our partners have preempted that announcement which has led to a bit of confusion.
The situation then is basically as follows:
Pre-ordering a standard edition from most of our partners will not automatically give you Open Beta access as we have said previously. We will however be announcing a list of ‘preferred partners’ who will be selling the pre-order with Open Beta access. A full list of these partners will be included with the main announcement this week, I can confirm that both the EA Store and D2D are preferred partners and so those of you who have already placed an order need not worry that you won’t get what you were offered.
Hopefully this will put some minds at rest and, as I have said, all the remaining details will be unveiled this Thursday.
Now, the EA Store and D2D (see how nice I am, finding the links 😛 ) are both charging £10 more for their warhammer online standard editions than places like play.com or amazon. So I’d suggest waiting until Thursday for the official announcement and list of preferred partners to see if you can get an open beta spot more cheaply with your standard edition pre-order.
I’m not sure how I feel about paying for beta access. We’ll have to wait to see which other partners are in the list before we know if EA et al want to stiff the high street retailers (and all that nice free high street advertising) in favour of pocketing the change from getting the direct download bucks.