Over the past few weeks, I have noticed that people are either concerned or unhappy with the amount of issues that FarmVille has been experiencing. I have mentioned many times that this game is in Beta, however I have gotten several PMs expressing confusion as to what exactly a Beta is and what it means for the players.

In order to clarify to all of our users the definition of “Beta”, I am creating this thread. Hopefully this will help to address any questions or concerns many of you may have.

First and foremost, what does Beta actually mean?

Simply put, Beta is a development status given to a program or application that contains most of the major features, but is not yet complete. Sometimes these versions are released only to a select group of people, or to the general public. The testers are usually expected to report any bugs they encounter or any changes they'd like to see before the final release. This is the second major stage of development following the alpha version, and comes before the release candidate.

FarmVille is currently having what is considered an “open Beta”. An open Beta means that the Beta version of the game is available to the general public for testing. Essentially, this means that all of our players are currently considered Testers.

What does being in Beta mean for our users?

As a Beta is an incomplete version of the game, there will be numerous bugs and issues that occur along the way. Such things are expected, as the purpose of a Beta is to allow users to find as many issues as possible to ensure the game is ready for its official release.

In addition, during the Beta Test period, many changes are made while the developers fine tune the games’ features and functionality. These changes are not necessarily permanent; however they will occur quite frequently. During this time, I will do my best to keep you all updated as to what is going on.

We encourage feedback from all of our users as Beta progresses. If you find that you aren't a fan of some of the alterations made to the game, feel free to share your feelings with us. Often, I'll be creating threads dedicated to these conversations. These threads will be a great way for me to pass your concerns or accolades onto our development staff.

During this time, the game will be a long way from perfect. Things will go wrong. Bugs will occur. This is the nature and purpose of a Beta. Just hang tight, be patient, and wait to see if the final product is something you want to be part of.

As always, we appreciate your understanding while we work through the Beta process. We would like to thank you all for assisting us with FarmVille’s open Beta and for your continued patience and support.

Should you have any additional questions or concerns, please feel free to send me a Private Message and I will be more than happy to address them.