Paradox Interactive launched a new publishing imprint called Paradox Arc (opens in a new tab) earlier this month, and now it’s asking people to sign up for its first beta test, which is “in the very near future.” There’s only one problem: you can’t know what the game is about.
“We will be doing a beta test in the very near future and we need people to help us!” the registration form says. “We cannot give the name of the game at this time until an agreement and NDA have been signed.
“However, the purpose of this particular beta test is to stress test the game’s online capabilities and collect player feedback on this test. The beta test is limited and will last only one week from now. of September 5, 2022”.
We know the test won’t involve one of Paradox’s main games (or at least, we can be reasonably sure of it): Paradox Arc was billed as something of an indie-focused publishing imprint when it was announced, with a focus on “games deep, endless, and reproducible insights from smaller development teams. The first game released under the publishing label is Across the Obelisk. (opens in a new tab), a “cooperative RPG deckbuilding roguelite” that launched in early access on Steam last year and went full-on earlier this month. (Paradox Arc has been tweeting about Across the Obelisk almost exclusively for the last week, which made me think it was the game being tested, until I realized it had already been released.)
There are a few rules if you want to participate in anything: you must be at least 18 years old, you must have a Discord account, and you must register before September 1st. Once you have completed the initial form, a second form containing your legal agreement and NDA will be emailed to you; submit that, and a final email with instructions on how to access the game and the Discord server will be sent on September 5th.
Do you want to participate in a beta test with us? We have limited spaces. We can’t say more until the NDAs have been signed, but you can sign up here: https://t.co/bCyVJQtvyOB Be sure to read the instructions on the process and fill out the first form by 10am CEST on September 1! ! pic.twitter.com/8lVfGLrxlsAugust 29, 2022
It sounds like Paradox Arc is going to a lot of trouble to keep this a secret, but I’ve reached out to Paradox for more info anyway and will update if I hear back. Note that if you sign up to participate, Paradox is likely to take the NDA seriously: the registration form says Discord server verification will be done via “a unique one-time code” for each user. Username.