Valve has just announced Steam Playtest, a new tool built into Steam that lets game developers invite players to test their games, without the need to generate, manage, and distribute beta keys. Using Playtest, developers will be able to add signups to their games’ store pages and activate a testing period at the click of a button right in Steam.

Most games go through various stages of testing prior to release – some are handled by internal quality assurance teams, others go through open or closed beta phases, and still others iterate development through Early Access. Inviting in players from the public can often generate data and turn up remaining bugs much faster than a small internal Q&A team can, and so playtesting is often an important tool for developers.

On Steam, however, that’s traditionally meant going through the process of generating beta keys and managing some system of distributing them to players who want to try the game early. It can mean a significant amount of work for the studio, and Steam Playtest is designed to cut down on that figure.

Original source: