Before they were known for DayZ, developers Bohemia Interactive were most notable for the realistic, open warzones in their ArmA series of military simulators (calling them “shooters” feels condescending). The latest, ArmA III, has had a bumpy road thus far. Two of its staff were imprisoned in Greece for a number of months, and the setting of the game was altered as a result. However, it appears that most of that has been overcome: ArmA III is now in alpha.
Bohemia is doing something interesting things with this alpha release, though. First of all, it is being offered through Steam. Secondly, it costs money: $32.99 for the basic alpha, $49.99 for the Digital Deluxe Edition of ArmA III, which includes access to the alpha. Those who purchase either package will also receive access to the beta when it launches as well as a copy of the final release. Very much the Minecraft model of payment.
Those who purchase the alpha will also receive three invites for the “alpha lite,” which they can give to friends when it is available on March 14. This reduced version of the alpha will lack multiplayer and modding features, and is available by invite only. It also expires on June 15, providing access to neither the beta nor the full game.
The alpha itself includes four missions, designed to showcase different elements of gameplay, a fraction of the weapons and vehicles available in the full game, and two multiplayer scenarios. The full alpha also provides players with the scenario editor and modding support.